Woman encouraged postman to kill himself online
A woman who encouraged a stranger she met on the internet to kill himself was convicted on Friday of encouraging his suicide in a case that prosecutors described as very rare.
Jurors at Leicester crown court heard how Natasha Gordon, 44, swapped messages with Matthew Birkinshaw, 31, in December 2015 after he stated online that he was seeking a suicide partner. In the messages Gordon told Birkinshaw she also wanted to take her own life.
Birkinshaw, a postman, travelled from his home in Walsall in the West Midlands to Gordon’s home in Peterborough and the pair drove together to Rutland Water in Leicestershire. She left Birkinshaw alone in the car, where he was later found dead, and then delayed informing the authorities of what had happened. Gordon had suggested the method and the location.
“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,” said Michael Gregory, a Crown Prosecution Service official, said after the trial. Gregory said that prosecutors also established that Gordon had previously contacted other people to encourage their suicides.
Gordon will be sentenced in January 2018.