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Final bail date for assisted suicide doctor

17 February 2010

A doctor involved in the suicide of a terminally-ill cancer sufferer has had his bail extended for the fifth time in a year, Solicitors Journal has learned.

Dr Irwin paid for Raymond Cutkelvin’s flight to Zurich, where the 58-year-old took his life at the Dignitas clinic in September 2007.

His bail was last extended in November last year and expired in early January this year. He has now been asked to report to Haringey police station on 6 April.

Mr Cutkelvin’s partner, Alan Rees, who travelled with him to Zurich, was also arrested and released on bail. He too was asked to report to Haringey police station later in the day on 6 April.

Dr Irwin told Solicitors Journal that, unlike previous occasions where the police only contacted him by phone, this time he received confirmation by letter, suggesting that a final decision as to whether to charge would be taken.

Libby Wilson, another doctor involved in an assisted suicide case, has had her bail extended until 26 April by Surrey Police.

Following the House of Lords’ ruling in Debbie Purdy’s case last July, the DPP issued an interim policy on assisted suicide and is due to publish final guidance on 10 March.

Observers expect the main distinction to be between cases of assistance, which – if truly compassionate – would not lead to prosecution, and encouragement, which would normally lead to prosecution.

In a separate development, 70-year-old TV presenter Ray Gosling has been arrested on suspicion of murder by Nottinghamshire Police after he admitted killing a young male partner who was dying of Aids.

Gosling said he had made a pact with the man, who he “loved to bits”, that he would not let him “linger on”. He claimed, on a BBC East Midlands programme, that he had smothered him with a pillow.

A spokesman for Nottinghamshire Police confirmed that a 70-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of murder following comments made in the Inside Out programme earlier this week.

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