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No charges following death of Caroline Loder

16/08/2010

The Crown Prosecution Service has decided that charges will not be brought against Dr Elisabeth Wilson and two individuals following the death of Caroline Loder at her home in Surrey on 8 June 2009.

A CPS spokesperson said :

"We have thoroughly reviewed a file of evidence in relation to a woman and two men suspected of committing an offence of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the suicide of another contrary to section 2 of the Suicide Act 1961. We have decided that there is not sufficient evidence to prosecute one of the men. The assistance he gave to the deceased was not of a kind that could be said to have assisted the act of suicide.

"We have further decided that although there is sufficient evidence to prosecute one of the men and the woman, after considering the public interest factors tending in favour and against prosecution, as outlined in the Policy for Prosecutors in respect of cases of encouraging or assisting suicide, it is not in the public interest to bring a prosecution against either of them.

"The woman admitted giving advice to Caroline Loder and this act itself is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction. However, when considering the public interest we have balanced the factors tending in favour and against a prosecution. In this case the woman was 83 years old and the assistance she provided was minimal, in that she gave some advice. Ms Loder had plainly intended to commit suicide, and there is no evidence that the advice given contributed significantly to the outcome. It has been concluded a prosecution of the woman is not required in the public interest.

"In relation to the man, there also is sufficient evidence to prove that he assisted or encouraged Caroline Loder to commit suicide, but his help was of a practical nature contributing only to the preparations that the deceased made. When considering the public interest it is clear that he acted out of compassion and he understood Ms Loders wish to die and respected it."