Kay Gilderdale trial: report on jury selection process

January 14, 2010

From the website of the Heart radio station in Sussex (undated)

JURORS called up to hear the trial of a mother accused of attempting to murder her seriously ill daughter were given the option to step down if they had strong feelings about euthanasia.

 Bridget Kathleen Gilderdale, known as Kay, has admitted one count of aiding and abetting the suicide of her daughter Lynn, 31, who was effectively paralysed by myalgic encephalopathy – also known as ME or chronic fatigue syndrome – for 17 years before her death on December 4, 2008.

Mrs Gilderdale, 55, of Stonegate, near Heathfield, East Sussex, denies attempted murder

Sitting at Lewes Crown Court, High Court judge Mr Justice Bean told potential jurors: “If you have such strong views on the subject of assisted suicide one way or the other, if you feel you can not give a true verdict on the evidence in this case and your name is one of those called today, say when you come forward and tell me about it.”

Of the first 12 names drawn randomly from the pool, one woman was released after speaking privately to the judge about personal circumstances which might affect her judgment in the case and a replacement was called up.

The jury was then dismissed and asked to return for the opening of the trial on Friday after legal argument. The case is expected to last at least two and a half weeks.

Mrs Gilderdale is on bail with conditions of residence and that she does not leave Europe.

Family and friends have supported her since her arrest and were in court on Tuesday.


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