Woman formed suicide pact with postman before backing out and leaving him to die
A former pole dancer formed a suicide pact with a postman before backing out and leaving him to die alone.
Natasha Gordon and Matthew Birkinshaw planned to kill themselves together the day after they met on an online suicide forum.
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But after encouraging 31-year-old Mr Birkinshaw to end his life, Gordon, 44, changed her mind at the last minute, leaving him to die alone in his car.
Within hours of his death on December 17 2015, she began forming three other suicide pacts with men over text, Leicester Crown Court heard.
Gordon, of Paston Ridings, Peterborough, is facing jail after she was found guilty of encouraging suicide following a trial.
How Natasha Gordon and Matthew Birkinshaw met
January 2015: Gordon attempts suicide. She then begins using online forums to talk to others about suicide plans.
December 16, 7.50am: Mr Birkenshaw writes a post in which he says he intends to take his life.
12.09pm: Gordon responds saying he should change the method he commits suicide.
1.06pm: Gordon sends Mr Birkinshaw a message to say it was good to talk to someone who felt the same way.
2.21pm: Gordon texts Mr Birkinshaw to say: ‘I really can’t wait to go tomorrow hope you do not change your mind.’
December 17, 11.55am: Mr Birkinshaw texts Gordon to say he is finishing the last of his suicide notes.
12pm: Gordon replies saying she had written one to her partner. No note was ever found.
12.30pm: Mr Birkinshaw arrives at Gordon’s address in Paston Ridings, Peterborough.
1pm: The pair arrive in the Normanton area of Rutland Water.
3.25pm: Mr Birkinshaw texts his girlfriend for the last time to say: ‘I love you so much.’
3.38pm: Gordon’s partner calls the police after receiving a text saying she was going to die with another person.
3.50pm: The time Gordon said she walked away from Mr Birkinshaw’s car.
4.24pm: Gordon sends a text to a different man who wanted to make suicide plans with her.
4.38pm: Gordon is found by police.
5pm: Gordon arrives home with officers and finally tells them she had been to Rutland Water with a man who wanted to commit suicide.
6.38pm: Mr Birkinshaw’s body is found in his car.
7.24pm: Mr Birkinshaw is pronounced dead.
8.04pm: Gordon sends a text message to another male about forming a suicide pact.
9.28pm: Gordon sends a message to a different male about forming another suicide pact.
11pm: Gordon is arrested.
November 22, 2017: Gordon goes on trial at Leicester Crown Court charged with encouraging Mr Birkinshaw to commit suicide.
December 1: Gordon is convicted at Leicester Crown Court of encouraging suicide.
January 2018: Gordon is due to be sentenced.
High Court Judge Mrs Justice Cheema Grubb said: ‘The usual sentence for an offence of this type is a custodial sentence and that is what she must expect.’
Moments before the verdict was announced, Gordon collapsed onto the floor of the dock with a ‘fit of abdominal pain’, her lawyer Ali Naseem Bajwa said.
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Prosecutor Timothy Cray said the pair met when Mr Birkenshaw, of Walsall, posted online seeking a suicide partner.
Within five hours, Gordon, who had been using the forums since she attempted to kill herself almost a year earlier, responded and the pair went on to make suicide plans.
The next day, Mr Birkinshaw drove to Gordon’s home and the pair headed for Rutland Water, with Mr Birkinshaw texting his girlfriend for the last time saying: ‘I love you so much.’
But Gordon backed out of the plan – before failing to tell police officers just 450 metres away from Mr Birkinshaw’s Fiat Punto that he was dying.
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Mr Cray said: ‘It’s a crime to encourage another person to commit suicide.
‘We say that’s exactly what this defendant did in respect of Matthew Birkinshaw.
‘Within hours of her meeting Matthew via the internet she was telling him she was prepared to commit suicide with him; she would be his suicide partner and they would die together.’
He described Gordon as an ‘enthusiastic advocate’ of suicide, adding: ‘She thought about it, she talked about it and was quite prepared to say that it was the right thing to do to people she didn’t know.’
Those she contacted online described her as ‘persistent’, while one said she seemed ‘a bit too happy when discussing the subject of suicide’.
Gordon, who denied encouraging Mr Birkenshaw to kill himself, will be sentenced in January.