‘Mercy killer’ who smothered his mom walks cost-free from court

Ward in Dorset county hospital, Dorchester

Hope Harrison was diagnosed with lung cancer and admitted to the Dorset county hospital in Dorchester in March 2011. Photograph: Dave Penman / Rex Features

A 50-yr-previous man has avoided jail regardless of confessing to police that he had smothered his terminally ill mother in a “mercy killing” as she lay suffering in a hospital bed.

Hope Harrison, 74, who had lung cancer, was believed to have died of natural leads to right up until her son, Iain Harrison, advised a psychiatrist and then police that he had killed her.

A judge allowed Harrison, from Weymouth in Dorset, to stroll free of charge from court soon after ruling he was “racked with remorse and guilt” and had suffered sufficient.

Judge Man Boney QC said regular sentencing recommendations did not apply to the case. He stated: “I take the view that you have suffered sufficient. This complete matter falls outside sentencing recommendations.

“She [Mrs Harrison] had very a lot reached the end of her all-natural life and had expressed the view that she desired to die as soon as possible. It was an act of mercy.”

Rather than providing him a custodial sentence, the judge imposed a two-yr jail phrase suspended for 18 months.

Lee Christmas, defending, said Harrison had struggled to reside with what he had done. He mentioned: “His actions that day have been an act of mercy. He and his sisters believed their mom to be in a excellent deal of discomfort. But for his admissions, it would by no means have come to light.”

Winchester crown court was told Mrs Harrison was diagnosed with lung cancer and admitted to the Dorset county hospital in Dorchester in March 2011.

Her condition worsened and she was in horrible ache.

Iain Harrison asked nursing workers if there was something he could do to help her but was informed all he could do was be at his mother’s side.

Following her death in April 2011, Harrison attempted to destroy himself and informed a psychiatrist he was consumed with guilt right after killing his mother. He handed himself into police and informed detectives he smothered Mrs Harrison following his sister went outdoors for a cigarette.

John Locke, a senior crown prosecutor in Wessex, explained Harrison tried to kill himself twice and suffered critical injuries when he jumped from the window of his fourth-floor flat.

Locke explained: “On 21 February 2013 he confessed to this psychiatrist he was consumed with guilt after killing his mother by suffocating her. He then called the police who arrested him.

“He produced the identical confession to the police right after declining to have a solicitor.”

Harrison was charged and admitted attempted murder. He was not charged with murder simply because it was not deemed attainable to demonstrate that his actions had in fact brought on her death.

Locke mentioned: “It was achievable to prove that he attempted to do so, based on his very own admission.”

He extra: “This is a really sad situation, exactly where a son admitted carrying out an act because he could not bear seeing her suffering.

“As distressing as it is to see a loved a single suffering and dying from cancer or a terminal sickness, it is not for a person to determine when somebody need to die. Euthanasia is effectively murder and murder is a crime.”

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