Sean Davison 'effectively acquitted'

Sean Davison (centre) with his lawyer and a supporter after leaving the High Court in Dunedin today.
Sean Davison (centre) with his lawyer and a supporter after leaving the High Court in Dunedin today.
Sean Davison has effectively been acquitted of attempting to murder his terminally-ill 85-year-old mother in Dunedin seven years ago.

The 50-year-old professor and euthanasia compaigner today pleaded guilty to an alternative lesser charge of inciting and procuring his mother's suicide.

Today would have been the fourth day of Davison's trial in the High Court at Dunedin for the attempted murder of Patricia Davison. He gave her crushed morphine tablets on October 24, 2006.

When the jury returned to court this morning, Crown counsel Robin Bates said he wished to file an amended indictment containing an alternative to the charge.

The charge alleging that on October 24 2006 he incited and procured Patricia Davison to commit suicide ''in consequence whereof that person attempted to commit suicide'' was put to Davison and, in an almost inaudible voice, he pleaded guilty.

Justice French convicted him and remanded him on bail for sentence on November 24, directing the pre-sentence report consider the possibility of an electronically-monitored sentence.

The charge of attempted murder will not officially be removed until Davison is sentenced on the lesser charge, but his counsel, Roger Laybourn said the fact Davison would be be discharged on the attempted murder was equivalent to an acquittal.


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