In the Media

Suicide pact husband spared jail

PUBLISHED September 4, 2006

A retired policeman who helped his mentally ill wife commit suicide with an overdose of pills was spared a jail sentence yesterday.

James Daniel, 71, of Bridlington, North Yorks, had intended to die alongside his wife, Alice, 68, but was revived by medical staff.

He later said the couple had made a "joint decision" to end their lives. His wife, who had spent long periods in hospital, had looked "really happy as she lay down to die".

Daniel, who spent 35 years with West Yorkshire Police, admitted aiding and abetting his wife's suicide when he appeared at Hull Crown Court.

Describing the case as "dreadfully sad", Judge Tom Cracknell gave Daniel a 12-month community supervision order.

He told him: "After 51 years of happy and supportive marriage, I can't imagine the strain you must have been under. It was clearly unbearable. It led you to behave in a way which was wholly out of character."