Thursday, 27 Jan 2022

Devoted son who shot terminally-ill father with cancer is spared jail

A son who shot his father, after the parent was denied a “suicide pill”, has been released from prison on a good behaviour bond, avoiding a jail sentence.

Glenn Stratton, 53, who pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the suicide of his father Colin, 80, committed the act in May, 2020, after his father, who had bowel cancer, was turned down from being given a so-called suicide pill.

Mr Stratton Snr wanted to end his life his way after seeing his late-wife die after suffering a stroke.

He also suffered badly from arthritis, had lost his sense of taste, had no feeling in his hands and was in “constant pain”.

In Victoria, Australia, a terminally-ill adult who has six months left to live, or 12 months with a neurodegenerative disease, and meets 68 different safeguarding requirements, can as a doctor for help in dying.

By Mr Stratton Snr was denied his application last year – twice – and even told his doctor about his intentions to shoot himself if it was denied.

Supreme Court of Victoria's Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth noted that Mr Stratton Jnr was a “dedicated father, strong, determined and had always been there for his family”.

Despite pleading with his father not to go through with it, he was asked to get his father's .22 rifle and one bullet.

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The fateful conversation, as detailed in court, went like this:

Mr Stratton Snr: “Don't make me make a bloody mess of it, I can't do this myself.”

“Mr Stratton Jnr: “I love you dad.”

Mr Stratton Snr: “I love you son.”

After a brief countdown, the trigger was pulled and he admitted the act to police.

He spent 46 days in prison on a murder charged, which was soon dropped and the man has been bailed.

Justice Hollingworth said: This is a case where justice should be tempered by mercy.

“There would be no benefit to you or to society in sending you to prison for this event.”

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