Natasha Gordon is a 44-year-old woman has been jailed for four years after she made a suicide pact with a man but backed out and left him to die alone.
According to The Guardian UK, Natasha Gordon, a former pole dancer, was convicted last month after encouraging Matthew Birkinshaw, a 31-year-old postman, to kill himself. She showed no emotion in the dock as the jail sentence was passed on Friday.
During her trial, Leicester crown court heard that Gordon, described as an “enthusiastic advocate” of suicide, did not alert nearby police officers to the danger Birkinshaw was in after leaving him alone and, within hours, was attempting to arrange similar pacts with other people.
The court heard from the victim’s mother, Margaret Birkinshaw, who fought back tears as she read out a victim impact statement. “It’s impossible to put into words the effect the loss of Matthew has had on our family. He was everything to us and has left a space no-one else can ever fill,” she told the court.
Her voice cracked as she said: “Matt was 31 when he died just one week before Christmas. His last words to me were: ‘Give me a hug mum, I’ll be back tomorrow’.
“I’ve asked myself a million times over the past two years: why didn’t I ring him? Would it have made a difference if he’d heard my voice?
“He was a man full of fun, laughter, love and intelligence, with everything to live for but with a sensitivity which sometimes made life difficult for him, and the misfortune to meet with someone who wanted to do him harm when he most needed kindness and support.”
Gordon backed out of the agreement with Birkinshaw before he killed himself on 17 December 2015. Birkinshaw, of Walsall, in the West Midlands, was pronounced dead at 7.24pm after he was found in his Fiat Punto at the Rutland Water reservoir.
Gordon, from Peterborough, denied having any influence on Birkinshaw. But, passing sentence, the judge, Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb told her: “This was a serious case because Matthew Birkinshaw actually took his own life after your encouragement.
“I have found you misled him into believing you were genuine and firmly intent on committing suicide with him, although you were not fully committed. You were gripped by your self-centredness.”
Cheema-Grubb judge accepted that Birkinshaw probably killed himself but said Gordon had influenced his decision and the method he chose.
Timothy Cray, prosecuting, said: “[Gordon] had a long-held desire to commit suicide and only she will know if she intended to go ahead with it. Fundamentally, she decided not to commit suicide in the end.”
Ali Naseem Bajwa QC, defending, said: “The crown conceded that the defendant Miss Gordon was suicidal.” Bajwa asked the judge to find her demeanour “sincere” when she got “as upset as she did” when talking about Birkinshaw’s death.