Dagenham mother guilty of murder

A DESPERATE mother who injected her severely brain-damaged son with a fatal dose of heroin in a mercy killing was sentenced to life in prison. Frances Anne Inglis, 57, of Maxey Road, Dagenham, murdered 22-year-old Thomas Inglis to end his living deat

A DESPERATE mother who injected her severely brain-damaged son with a fatal dose of heroin in a 'mercy killing' was sentenced to life in prison.

Frances Anne Inglis, 57, of Maxey Road, Dagenham, murdered 22-year-old Thomas Inglis to end his 'living death' while she was on bail for previously attempting to kill him.

She must spend a minimum of nine years behind bars.

Thomas had been left so severely disabled after falling out the back of an ambulance that he could only communicate by blinking and squeezing his hands.


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Inglis did not accept medical opinion that her son had a chance of recovering from his injuries.

She thought he should be allowed to die even though he did not meet the legal criteria for a High Court application to withdraw feeding because he could breathe unaided.

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The mother-of-three took the decision into her own hands, against the wishes of her ex-partner Alex and two younger sons.

Inglis denied murder on the basis she was saving her son from the agonies of a slow and painful death.

She told jurors: 'The definition of murder is taking a life with malice in your heart. I did it with love in my heart, so I don't see it as murder.'

But the Common Serjeant of London, judge Brian Barker QC told jurors: 'Our laws are designed to protect us all within society and particularly to protect the weak.

'We must make it clear that there is no concept in law of mercy killing. It is still a killing no matter how kind the intention.'

There were repeated shouts of 'shame on you' from the public gallery as the jury found her guilty of murder and attempted murder at the Old Bailey. It is not known whether the cries were directed at Inglis or the jury.

The Common Serjeant of London, judge Brian Barker QC, told Inglis: 'There is no doubt that Tom suffered a terrible accident on 7th July.

'The results would be difficult for anybody to deal with. The doctors and the staff did their utmost to give them the best chance of recovery.

'You seemed to be reluctant to accept that any recovery was bound to be a slow process. Within two weeks you planned to take his life. Within two months you were equipped to do that.

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