Page last updated at 14:30 GMT, Thursday, 30 July 2009 15:30 UK

Son gave gun to suicidal father

Ian James Button
Ian Button had a terminal illness

A man has admitted supplying a gun to his father, who then shot himself dead at Northampton General Hospital.

The town's crown court heard how Guy Button, 30, of Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, took the World War II gun to his father's ward on 20 October.

Ian Button, 63, who had been told he had a terminal lung disease, used the weapon to shoot himself in the head in full view of the other patients.

His son pleaded guilty to six offences, including transferring a firearm.

Button, of Wycombe Road, also admitted possession of a firearm. He will be sentenced later.

'Ridiculous story'

The court heard Button had arrived on his father's ward with a bag containing the gun and 19 rounds of ammunition.

Emergency staff tried to resuscitate Mr Button, of Tattersall Close, Parklands, Northampton, but he died shortly after shooting himself.

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

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

Prosecuting barrister Alex Bull said: "In (police) interview, Guy Button said his father was becoming increasingly demotivated by his illness and was given a terminal diagnosis in 2008.

"He said he believed the gun was decommissioned and was not live.

"He said his father indicated his plan was to hand both the gun and the ammunition to police."

But Judge Richard Bray dismissed Button's account.

He said: "This sounds incredible and ridiculous that he was taking the gun into hospital so someone at the hospital could take it to the police."

Luke Blackburn, defending Button, said his client admitted he had "misguidedly" given the gun to his father.

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