A woman who encouraged a stranger she met on the internet to take his own life has been convicted of encouraging his suicide today (1 December).
A trial at Leicester Crown Court heard how Natasha Gordon, 44, swapped messages with 31-year-old Matthew Birkinshaw in December 2015 after he posted a message online seeking a suicide partner. In the messages Gordon told Matthew she also wanted to take her own life. Gordon suggested the method and the location for this to happen.
The court heard how Matthew travelled from his home in the West Midlands to Gordon’s home in Peterborough, before the pair drove together to Rutland Water in Leicestershire.
She left Matthew alone in the car when it was filled with carbon monoxide and then delayed informing the authorities of what had happened until it was too late.
Michael Gregory, from the CPS, said:
“The evidence put forward by the prosecution demonstrated how Natasha Gordon broke the law by encouraging the suicide of Matthew Birkinshaw.
“Through analysing her online activity the CPS was able to demonstrate how Gordon took advantage of Matthew’s vulnerability to encourage his final actions, rather than seeking help. The prosecution also established that she had previously contacted other people to encourage their suicides.
“Our thoughts are with Matthew’s family at this difficult time.”
Gordon will be sentenced at a later date.
Notes to Editors
· Contact the Samaritans on 116 123.
· Michael Gregory is a Senior Specialist Prosecutor with the CPS Special Crime and Counter-Terrorism Division
· Natasha Gordon was convicted of one count of encouraging suicide