Sunday 19 November 2017

'Obsessed' best friend on trial for encouraging 21-year-old to kill herself

Amelia Caller “would do anything” for her friend Emma Crossman
Amelia Caller “would do anything” for her friend Emma Crossman

Patrick Sawer and Martin Evans

A 22-year-old woman helped to take the life of her best friend in an “act of misguided loyalty” after becoming “obsessed and infatuated” with her, a jury has been told.

Amelia Caller “would do anything” for her friend Emma Crossman, 21, and would also regularly discuss suicide with her on Facebook and other social media.

But a court has heard how her devotion went too far when she provided the means by which Miss Crossman took her own life.

Caller went on trial at Lincoln Crown Court, on Tuesday, accused of encouraging or assisting her friend to commit suicide.

She is thought to be the youngest person in Britain to stand trial for the offence.

The trial heard that Miss Crossman had a history of self-harm and had reacted badly to the breakdown of a two year relationship with her boyfriend Adrian Kemp, 56.

Opening the case for the prosecution, Mark McKone told the jury there was no dispute that the defendant had supplied the method her friend used to help kill herself.

He said while the facts of the case were not disputed, Miss Caller was pleading not guilty on the basis that she did not believe her best friend would actually kill herself.

Mr McKone said: “Emma Crossman committed suicide at her home. Amelia Caller assisted her to commit suicide by supplying her with the [method used] in an act of misguided loyalty.”

He went on: “Amelia Caller was obsessed and infatuated with Emma and would do anything for her. They spent a lot of time together, particularly after she (Emma) split from her partner.”

Mr McKone said Miss Crossman had a history of depression, self-harm and overdoses, and that she was particularly badly affected by relationship breakdowns and had split up with a partner four to six weeks before her death.

He told the jury that a month before the death the two women had talked on Facebook about Emma killing herself.

“Amelia Caller took this seriously as she suggested a final day out like a goodbye thing,” said Mr

Caller subsequently bought Miss Crossman something from an Asda supermarket that would allow her to take her own life, but it was removed from her by Mr Kemp.

However, four days later Caller ordered a second supply online and within hours of its delivery Miss Crossman had used it to kill herself

The jury was told that in one message Caller wrote to her friend “It’ll be ok. I’ll help you through it.”

Later Caller sent a message which read: “I was just thinking. If you want to we can have a fun day out like a goodbye thing.”

She also wrote to Miss Crossman saying “I’m losing my best mate. I do understand you are doing it.”

In a further message Caller wrote “I just keep thinking I murdered you. I got you the [method used]. I know you will still have got it. I still feel like I’ve murdered you. It feels horrible.”

As Miss Crossman began to kill herself she gave a running commentary in messages to Caller, who responded “okey, dokey”.

Mr McKone said: “Emma specifically is saying she is going to use it. At that stage Amelia tells Emma she will be fine.”

Caller later found the body of her friend on the living room floor of her terraced home, in the Lincolnshire market town of Sleaford. A suicide note which ended with the words “Goodbye. I love you all. Emma”, was found nearby.

Police inquiries later revealed a string of Facebook and text messages between the two women in which they discussed how Emma was going to take her own life.

Mr McKone said: “Emma Crossman had a history of depression, self-harm and tablet overdoses. She reacted particularly badly to splitting up with boyfriends.”

He added: “The prosecution accept that some people who knew her didn’t always take her threats to kill herself seriously.”

Mr McKone, who explained that the two young women had met as teenagers and became close friends, said: “Amelia Caller accepts her friend told her she wanted to commit suicide.

“She accepts her friend asked her to get [the method used] to kill herself. She accepts she bought [it] for Emma from Asda.

“Amelia Caller says she is not guilty because she did not believe her friend would kill herself and therefore she didn’t intend to assist her to commit suicide.”

Caller, of Great Hale, Lincs, denies encouraging or assisting in the suicide of Miss Crossman between 12 and 15 January 2014 in a charge brought under the 1961 Suicide Act.

The trial continues.

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