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Woman Imprisoned for Encouraging Suicide

In a rather unusual case from England, a woman has been sentenced to four years in prison after being found guilty of encouraging a man to commit suicide.

Natasha Gordon and Matthew Birkinshaw met online. They exchanged messages after Matthew posted in December 2015 that he was seeking a suicide partner. In the messages Natasha told Matthew she also wanted to take her own life. She suggested the method and the location for this to happen.

Matthew subsequently travelled from his home in the West Midlands to Natasha’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.

“The evidence put forward by the prosecution demonstrated how Natasha Gordon broke the law by encouraging the suicide of Matthew Birkinshaw,” explained Michael Gregory, from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

“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,” he added. “The prosecution also established that she had previously contacted other people to encourage their suicides.”

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