Mother found guilty of murder of injured son

20/01/2010

A 58 year-old woman has today been found guilty by a majority verdict at the Old Bailey of the murder of her son, Thomas Inglis, who suffered from severe head injuries.

The jury heard how Frances Inglis had injected her son with a lethal dose of street heroin on 21 November 2008 as he lay in his bed at The Gardens Neurological Centre, Sawbridgeworth.  Mrs Inglis was also found guilty of his attempted murder in relation to an earlier incident in which she injected him with a large amount of street heroin on 4 September 2007.  Following this, Mrs Inglis had been arrested and released on bail for attempted murder when she went on to administer the fatal dose.

Thomas Inglis had undergone two bouts of brain surgery for head injuries sustained following a fall from an ambulance he'd been travelling in having been the victim of an assault after a night out with friends in July 2007.  Following the surgery he was receiving treatment and was fully dependant on nursing care to attend to his daily needs.

CPS Hertfordshire Crown Advocate Susan Krikler said: "On any view this is a most tragic case.  When Frances Inglis took the life of her son, Thomas, she believed she was doing what was best for him as he lay suffering from severe brain injuries in his hospital bed.

"Prior to Mrs Inglis's first attempt on her son's life there was medical opinion to suggest that Thomas might make progress in his recovery given time and treatment.  Nobody knows what life Thomas may have been able to lead had he been given the medical treatment and support available to him.  In administering the first injection of heroin, Mrs Inglis hampered his recovery.  In giving the lethal injection she made the decision, on his behalf, to end his life.

"No matter how tragic the circumstances, the law does not allow for anyone deliberately to take the life of another.  By her own admission Mrs Inglis said that she intended to cause the death of her son to end his misery.  Given the grave consequences of her actions, the CPS believed it was right to prosecute Mrs Inglis for both murder and attempted murder.

Sentence to follow.