Elderly Spared Jail for Killing Wife with Parkinson’s Disease in ‘Act of Mercy’

US Supreme Court building in Washington (AP Photo, File)
US Supreme Court building in Washington (AP Photo, File)
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Elderly Spared Jail for Killing Wife with Parkinson’s Disease in ‘Act of Mercy’

US Supreme Court building in Washington (AP Photo, File)
US Supreme Court building in Washington (AP Photo, File)

An 82-year-old man has been spared jail for killing his wife who suffered from Parkinson’s disease in an “act of mercy,” reported Sky News.

Martin Rudin admitted killing retired teacher Gabriella Rudin, 75, at their home in Histon, Cambridgeshire, early last New Year’s Eve.

She had recently returned from hospital after suffering a fall and had told her son the day before her death she wanted to “go to Belgium” to die.

Rudin, a retired civil engineer, handed himself into police on January 9, telling officers his third wife had been “begging” him to kill her and said: “I just couldn’t bear it any longer, for her or me.”

He denied murder but admitted manslaughter by diminished responsibility, which was accepted by prosecutors, and was sentenced on Thursday to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years.

Judge Mark Bishop said the “tragic case” involved a couple - who had been married for 11 years after meeting online - who had led a “loving and content, interesting life together.”

The judge said Rudin was not coping with the “strain of being the principal carer,” adding: “I accept at the time he did believe he was doing what he believed to be an act of mercy.”

“It is clear Mrs. Rudin had been speaking of wanting to die and I accept the defendant was overwhelmed by her expression of wanting to die, given his depressed state,” he continued.

The judge said that while frail and vulnerable people needed the protection of the law, “the facts of the case require the court to take a merciful course.”

Mrs. Rudin was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2018, was admitted to hospital after a fall last December, and was prescribed antidepressants before being discharged on Christmas Eve.



Heat Wave in Greece Halts Visits to Acropolis

Tourists take a selfie in front of the Parthenon temple atop the Acropolis hill during a heatwave, in Athens, Greece, 11 June 2024. EPA/KOSTAS TSIRONIS
Tourists take a selfie in front of the Parthenon temple atop the Acropolis hill during a heatwave, in Athens, Greece, 11 June 2024. EPA/KOSTAS TSIRONIS
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Heat Wave in Greece Halts Visits to Acropolis

Tourists take a selfie in front of the Parthenon temple atop the Acropolis hill during a heatwave, in Athens, Greece, 11 June 2024. EPA/KOSTAS TSIRONIS
Tourists take a selfie in front of the Parthenon temple atop the Acropolis hill during a heatwave, in Athens, Greece, 11 June 2024. EPA/KOSTAS TSIRONIS

Authorities in Athens announced on Wednesday the closure of the Acropolis for five hours due to heat wave temperatures that also prompted many schools to close.
The ancient site in the Greek capital — which drew nearly 4 million visitors last year — was closed from midday till 5 p.m. as the temperature was set to reach 39 degrees Celsius (102 degrees Fahrenheit), The Associated Press reported.
Elementary schools and preschool classes were also canceled in parts of southern and central Greece where the temperatures were highest.
City authorities announced that garbage collection would also be halted for several hours Wednesday and that seven air-conditioned spaces would be opened to the public. Drones with thermal cameras were being used in Athens to coordinate the public health response, officials said.
Cooler weather is expected late Friday.

Greece is one of the most climate-impacted countries in Europe. Last year, rising temperatures fuelled deadly wildfires and erratic rains caused some of the worst flooding on record, both of which damaged crops and livelihoods.
Last winter was the hottest on record and rainfall was low, creating the conditions for more fires, scientists say.
Similar conditions were seen last year across much of southern Europe, including Portugal, France, Spain and Italy where fires caused dozens of deaths.
In Greece, fires began earlier than expected this year, including one in March.