Coventry & Warwickshire

Wayne Norman jailed for attempted 'mercy killing'

A man who tried to suffocate his friend in an attempted "mercy killing" has been jailed for 20 months.

Wayne Norman, 57, from Winfield Street, Rugby in Warwickshire pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of Michael Bryan.

Nottingham Crown Court heard he had tried to smother his friend with a cushion and insulating tape but could not go through with it.

The judge told Norman she accepted he had not wanted to see his friend suffer but his actions were against the law.

The court heard that Norman and Mr Bryan, 61, who had been friends for more than 35 years, were both alcoholics.

Mr Bryan, who died in September from liver failure caused by hepatitis, also had a history of drug use.

Bag on head

The court heard that Norman could not go through with an initial attempt to smother his friend with a cushion after he saw him waving his arms.

He also stopped a second attempt to suffocate Mr Bryan using insulating tape.

The court also heard that Mr Bryan had previously tried to kill himself by putting a plastic bag over his own head.

The Crown and the defence accepted that Norman's actions played no part in Mr Bryan's death.

Defence lawyer Andrew Jackson had urged the court to impose a suspended jail sentence on Norman, who he said was "to all intents and purposes a perfectly decent man".

Sentencing, Mrs Justice Thirlwall told Norman: "I accept that you genuinely believed that to kill a friend was an act of mercy, and I accept that he had asked you on a previous occasion to do so.

"Certainly I accept that you found it difficult to see him suffering in the way that he was."

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