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English woman found guilty of encouraging man she met online to kill himself

She will be sentenced in January 2018.

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File
Image: Chris Radburn

AN ENGLISH WOMAN who encouraged a stranger she met on the internet to take his own life has been convicted of encouraging his suicide today.

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 also suggested a method and the location.

The court heard how Birkinshaw travelled from his home in the West Midlands to Gordon’s home in Peterborough, before the pair drove together to Rutland Water in Leicestershire.

Gordon then left Matthew alone in the car as it filled with carbon monoxide and then delayed informing the authorities of what had happened until it was too late.

Michael Gregory, from the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service, said:

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“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 in January 2018.

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