Page last updated at 15:22 GMT, Friday, 4 September 2009 16:22 UK

Son jailed after ward gun suicide

Ian James Button
Ian Button had a terminal illness

A man who gave his father a gun in hospital so that he could shoot himself has been jailed for three years.

Guy Button, 30, of Wycombe Road, Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, took the gun to a ward in Northampton General Hospital on 20 October.

Ian Button, 63, from Northampton, shot himself in the head after being told he had terminal lung disease.

Button, who admitted four offences, including transferring a firearm, was sentenced at Leicester Crown Court.

The judge told the music teacher he will have to serve at least half of the jail term.

At an earlier court appearance in Northampton the court heard Button had arrived on his father's ward with a bag containing the World War II gun and 19 rounds of ammunition.

This is the stuff of tragedy because his late father, in doing what he did, put his son in a position anybody could see was unbearable
Luke Blackburn

Mr Button, a car leasing manager, had become more depressed before deciding to take his own life, the judge was told.

His 63-year-old wife Christine was in a care home with Alzheimer's disease at the time.

He drew a curtain around his bed on the six-bay Benham Ward and shot himself through the right temple.

He was discovered, still breathing, by a ward sister but medical staff did not try to resuscitate him as he had asked for this not to be carried out.

Mr Button left a suicide note addressed to police, in which he claimed that he had taken the gun to the hospital.

The judge questioned the decision by prosecutors not to pursue a charge of assisting a suicide against Button which carries a maximum prison term of 14 years.

He said: "Isn't there abundant evidence that the defendant took the gun in to the hospital so his father could kill himself?"

Graham Reeds QC, prosecuting, replied: "With the available evidence there was insufficient evidence to make a conviction probable."

Sensitive music teacher

Judge Wide said he did find that there were "exceptional circumstances" in the case which allowed him to pass a sentence of less than five years.

He had received "numerous glowing testimonials" from the defendant's friends and relatives.

Button has lost his job as a teacher at the High Wycombe Music Centre in Buckinghamshire.

Luke Blackburn, defending, said: "Guy Button is a man of impeccable character. He is a sensitive man who takes his greatest pleasures from playing and teaching music.

"This is the stuff of tragedy because his late father, in doing what he did, put his son in a position anybody could see was unbearable."



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Son gave gun to suicidal father
30 Jul 09 |  Northamptonshire
Tribute to hospital shooting man
23 Oct 08 |  Northamptonshire
Inquest into hospital gun death
22 Oct 08 |  Northamptonshire
Ward reopens after man's suicide
20 Oct 08 |  Northamptonshire

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific