A Christian woman from England, who called a cancer helpline to ask if asphyxiation with a pillow was considered murder just hours before smothering dying cancer patient to death, was sentenced to life in prison Friday, according to Daily Mail.
On February 11, Heather Davidson, 54, called a cancer helpline, Macmillan Cancer Support, to ask if she would be considered a murderer if she smothered her friend, 81-year-old David Paterson, who was dying of terminal cancer, with a pillow.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) June 5, 2015
According to Davidson, her friend appeared to be suffering, and all she wanted was his pain to end.
“I think it would be better if I could just put a pillow over his face. Would I be a murderer if I did that?” Davidson asked the charity worker as she sobbed over the phone.
“In the eyes of the law, yes you would, yeah,” said the charity worker.
“If he was a dog he would have been put down months ago,” Davidson continued.
Two hours later, she took a pillow and smothered her friend to death in the bedroom of his North Yorkshire home.
Doctors say he was only a few hours away from a natural death before being smothered.
Davidson pleaded guilty to murdering the cancer patient but stated that it was a “mercy killing.”
“You were only were saving him a few hours of suffering,” Judge Simon Bourne-Arton said to Davidson in court.
“In so doing, you deprived him of what he wanted most, a natural death. This private man did not in death have a private ending.”
Broadcasters line up their shots at the end of the Heather Davidson ‘mercy killing’ trial at Teesside Crown Court. pic.twitter.com/NZE9mEcNFt
— Tom Yeoman (@RedWelliesPhoto) June 5, 2015
The judge sentenced Davidson to life in prison with a minimum term of nine years. Prior to smothering the cancer patient to death, Davidson was previously convicted of attempting to smother her neighbor’s dog.
“We all knew of, and respected, his deeply-held Christian beliefs. We are, and Uncle David would have been, horrified that someone he classed as a friend and who he thought shared his Christian values, would have acted in this way,” said the victim’s family in a statement.
“She should have known he would have wanted it to be God’s will when he died and allowed him to do so in privacy and with dignity — she had no right to do this to him.
“Heather Davidson was a church-goer, a person Uncle David had helped, a person he trusted and considered a friend. She has taken away our opportunity to grieve for him, as we had the right to do.”
[Image courtesy of Shutterstock]