In a contrasting decision, Kay Gilderdale received a oneyear suspended sentence after assisting her daughter to commit suicide by giving her 420 grams of morphine, and then administering further drugs after her daughter had been rendered unconscious. In contrast to the Inglis case, Mrs Gilderdale’s daughter, who had been bedridden since the age of 14 due to a severe form of ME, had been able to express her wish to die and had previously attempted suicide.
Mrs Gilderdale was charged with attempted murder, as well as assisting suicide, due to her direct involvement in the administration of the drugs. Mrs Gilderdale had admitted the charge of ‘aiding and abetting suicide’ and Mr Justice Bean had called for the attempted murder charge to be dropped. Following the verdict, he thanked the jury for their “common sense, decency and humanity”. However the CPS have defended their decision to pursue the attempted murder charge, highlighting the distinction with assisted suicide which does not involve the direct administration of drugs by another party.