Woman encouraged man to enter suicide pact then left him to die alone, court hears

Harry Cockburn
'Within hours of having met, the defendant was telling him that she was prepared to commit suicide with him': Getty Images

A postman committed suicide after being encouraged into a mutual death pact with a woman he met online who then left him to die alone, a court heard.

Natasha Gordon who was described as an “enthusiastic advocate” of suicide, had previously encouraged six other people to take their own lives before she met 31-year-old Matthew Birkinshaw, of Walsall, West Midlands.

Gordon has now gone on trial accused of encouraging Birkinshaw to commit suicide.

Leicester Crown Court heard that Birkinshaw travelled to meet Gordon at her home in Peterborough in the early hours of December 17 in 2015.

The pair then drove to Rutland Water where Birkinshaw died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Prosecutor Timothy Cray said witnesses to the incident in Rutland Water, Oakham, Rutland, had "seen smoke come from the car".

However, the jury heard that Gordon had left the car and walked to the nearby Best Western Hotel, because she “couldn’t go through with it”.

It was confirmed Birkinshaw, had died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

In court on Wednesday Mr Cray said: "Matthew was just 31 years old when he took his own life, very shortly after he met the defendant in December 2015.

"Within hours of having met Matthew via the internet, the defendant was telling him that she was prepared to commit suicide with him.

The court were told how the pair exchanged messages and phone calls before the incident.

In a message to Birkinshaw, Gordon said: "I really can't wait to go tomorrow, I hope you do not change your mind."

A number of attempts were made to resuscitate Mr Birkinshaw, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr Cray said: "She did not make it clear to police what she was doing until it was too late."

The prosecution said earlier medical intervention may have "changed the outcome".

Gordon denies a single charge of encouraging Birkinshaw to take his own life.

Press Association contributed to this report