'Mercy killing' mum guilty of murder
A DESPERATE mother who injected her severely brain-damaged son with a fatal dose of heroin in a mercy killing , was jailed for life and told she must serve a minimum of nine years, after being found guilty of murder today (Wed). Frances Anne Inglis, 57
A DESPERATE mother who injected her severely brain-damaged son with a fatal dose of heroin in a "mercy killing", was jailed for life and told she must serve a minimum of nine years, after being found guilty of murder today (Wed).
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.
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.
Inglis did not accept medical opinion that her son had a chance of recovering from his injuries.
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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.
The mother-of-three took the decision into her own hands, against the wishes of her ex-partner Alex and two younger sons.
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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.
Thomas had been hit in the face and suffered a cut lip during a fight outside a pub, but did not want to be put into an ambulance or go to hospital.
Witnesses claimed he jumped from the moving vehicle on the way to Queen's Hospital, Romford and suffered brain damage.
The court was Thomas showed signs of improvement although he required round-the-clock nursing care, but his mother thought treatment was futile and believed Thomas would not have wanted to live.