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Suicide pact woman left Black Country postman 'to die', court told

By David Cosgrove | Crime | Published:

A postman from the Black Country took his own life after entering a suicide pact with a woman who then left him to die alone, a court heard.

Natasha Gordon has gone on trial accused of encouraging 31-year-old Matthew Birkinshaw to end his own life.

Gordon, 44, was described as an 'enthusiastic advocate' of suicide at Leicester Crown Court.

She allegedly persuaded Mr Birkinshaw to take his own life in his car at Rutland Water, Oakham, before leaving him to die on December 17, 2015.

The 44-year-old allegedly had a history of encouraging others to commit suicide before she met Mr Birkinshaw on an online forum.

Mr Birkinshaw, from Walsall, had previously announced his intention to end his life by a different method before Gordon allegedly changed his mind, the court was told.

Mr Timothy Cray, prosecuting, said: "Within hours of having met Matthew via the internet, the defendant was telling him she was prepared to commit suicide with him.

"She did not make it clear to police what she was doing until it was too late."

The court heard how the pair had exchanged messages and phone calls before the incident.

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Mr Cray continued: "This case is a million miles from any sort of mercy killing or act of comfort to a loved one in their last hours."

He told the court Gordon was 'quite prepared to say to people she hardly knew' that taking their own life 'was the right thing to do'.

Mr Cray described Mr Birkinshaw as someone who 'had a lot to live for' despite having felt 'disconnected with the world' for a long time.

Witnesses to the incident saw smoke coming from a car near Rutland Water and Mr Birkinshaw died of carbon monoxide poisoning, Mr Cray added.

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The jury heard Gordon got out of the car and walked to the nearby Best Western Hotel because she 'couldn't go through with it'.

A number of attempts were made to resuscitate Mr Birkinshaw, but he was pronounced dead at the scene at 7.24pm.

Mr Cray said: "The defendant has been active on a number of suicide forums a year before this.

"She was seeking a suicide partner and made arrangments with a number of different people.

"She was uber interested, if there is such a thing, in suicide."

Gordon denies a single charge of encouraging Mr Birkinshaw to take his own life.

The prosecution allege earlier medical intervention may have 'changed the outcome'.

The trial continues.

David Cosgrove

By David Cosgrove
Deputy Chief Reporter - @davidcosgrove_

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