Cannock husband 'begged wife, 80, to help him end life'

Written by on September 11, 2019

A pensioner accused of the “mercy killing” of her terminally ill husband has told a court he begged her to help him end his life.

Mavis Eccleston, 80, denies the murder and manslaughter of husband Dennis, who died in hospital on 20 February 2018.

She told Stafford Crown Court Mr Eccleston had had kissed her hand in thanks after she told him she would “go with his wishes” to die.

Prosecutors allege he was unaware he was being given an overdose.

The couple were found by family members at their bungalow in Huntington, near Cannock, Staffordshire, on 19 February last year – after both had taken overdoses.

Giving evidence in the second week of her trial, Mrs Eccleston told the jury her husband, who had been diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer, “wanted to go.”

Telling the court she had fetched medication from a cupboard at her husband’s request, the defendant, who was given an antidote in hospital for the drugs she had taken, added: “It was an understanding between us.

“He had to tell me what I had got to do.”

Answering questions from defence barrister Mark Heywood QC, the defendant said she had written a note saying the couple had decided to take their own lives, to explain their actions to their children.

Describing allegations she had decided to kill her husband and then herself as a downright untruth, she added: “He was the one who told me what to take.

“He did know what he was taking.

“I would never, ever think of killing my husband – I would only help him to keep out of the pain.”

The trial continues.

Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.

Updates from the Cannock Chase Radio News Desk via BBC Stoke and Staffordshire


Cannock Chase Radio FM

The Greatest Hits And So Much More!

Current track