Page last updated at 20:34 GMT, Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Mother 'researched suicide' to help ill daughter die

Bridget Kathleen Gilderdale
Mrs Gilderdale admits aiding and abetting the suicide of her daughter

A mother who helped her seriously ill daughter to die researched suicide on the internet, a court has heard.

Bridget Kathleen Gilderdale, 55, of Stonegate, East Sussex, is accused of the attempted murder of her 31-year-old daughter, Lynn.

Miss Gilderdale, who suffered from the chronic fatigue illness ME, died on 4 December, 2008.

Mrs Gilderdale denies attempted murder at Lewes Crown Court but admits aiding and abetting suicide.

'Fateful hours'

Miss Gilderdale developed ME at 14. She became paralysed and unable to swallow so had to be fed through a tube.

In the "30 fateful hours" hours leading up to Miss Gilderdale's death her mother trawled websites searching for methods on how to overdose on pills, jurors heard.

Some of the searches made on Mrs Gilderdale's computer related to morphine overdoses.

Lynn Gilderdale
Lynn Gilderdale had suffered from ME for about 17 years

Earlier the court had heard how Miss Gilderdale had developed a fear of hospitals.

In 2005 she had to be placed on life support after her lung was punctured during a procedure to change her intravenous catheter.

She had also claimed she was sexually abused by a senior health professional at a London hospital - something which was being investigated by the Metropolitan Police at the time of her death.

Miss Gilderdale's father, Richard, told the court his daughter attempted to kill herself with a morphine overdose in mid-2007 and had contacted Dignitas, the Swiss-based assisted dying clinic.

The court previously heard how Mrs Gilderdale gave her daughter two syringes of morphine at 0300 GMT on 3 December, which Miss Gilderdale administered herself through an intravenous catheter into her vein.

Mrs Gilderdale also crushed tablets with a pestle and mortar which she administered to her daughter through a feeding tube in her nose.

The jury was told at about 0200 GMT on 4 December, Mrs Gilderdale gave her daughter two or three further doses of morphine directly into the intravenous catheter and later gave her three syringes of air.

Miss Gilderdale died at 0710 GMT. A post-mortem examination found that the cause of death was morphine toxicity.

The case continues.



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SEE ALSO
ME daughter 'determined to die'
19 Jan 10 |  Sussex
Mother 'helped ME daughter die'
18 Jan 10 |  Sussex
Mother admits aiding ME suicide
03 Jul 09 |  Sussex
Mother in court in ME death case
30 Apr 09 |  Sussex
ME death mother appears in court
21 Apr 09 |  Sussex

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