A jury today acquitted a British woman who helped her 31-year-old disabled daughter commit suicide. Bridget Gilderdale, 55, had been charged with attempted murder after giving her daughter a cocktail of morphine and other drugs to help end her life. The daughter, Lynn Gilderdale, had been afflicted with the chronic fatigue illness ME. When the verdict was read, Gilderdale cried, “yes,” and was mobbed by her family and friends.
“I do not normally comment on the verdicts of juries,” the judge said, “but in this case their decision shows common sense, decency, and humanity.” The judge had earlier questioned the prosecution’s decision to try Gilderdale, who had already pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting suicide, for which she received a 12-month conditional discharge. But the top prosecutor today said that, while she respected the verdict, she thought trying Gilderdale was “in the public interest.”