Pensioner accused of ‘mercy killing’ husband with lethal cocktail of drugs is cleared of murder and manslaughter

Pensioner accused of 'mercy killing' husband with lethal cocktail of drugs is cleared of murder and manslaughter

A pensioner accused of giving her terminally-ill husband a lethal cocktail of drugs in a “mercy killing” has been cleared of murder and manslaughter.
Mavis Eccleston, 80, was hauled before a court charged with murdering husband Dennis, 81, by giving him a drink containing prescription medication.
Jurors heard during how Mrs Eccleston swigged back the deadly concoction herself in a bid to take her own life at the couple’s bungalow in Huntington, Staffordshire.
A 14-page suicide note penned by Mrs Eccleston told how the couple were ending their lives because of “ill-health, harassment and neighbourhood tensions”.
They were both rushed to hospital after being found unconscious by relatives on February 20 last year.
Mrs Eccleston was resuscitated in hospital but Mr Eccleston had a ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ order having been diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2015.
Jurors were told how Mr Eccleston passed away while holding hands with his wife of almost 60 years in adjoining hospital beds later that day.
Prosecutors alleged Mr Eccleston was unaware he was taking a potentially lethal overdose of prescription drugs after Mrs Eccleston confessed to mental health nurses.
But Mark Heywood QC, defending, said it would not have been possible for Mr Eccleston to be given a lethal dose without him knowing, due to the “bitter taste”.

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