Suspended sentence for son who tried to kill dying mother

A 47-year-old man has been given a suspended sentence in the Republic of Ireland for trying to kill his dying mother.

Gerald Vollrath admitted the attempted murder of Vera Vollrath, 83, at a nursing home in Killure, County Waterford, in January 2012.

He held a pillow over her face while he was keeping vigil by her deathbed.

He was originally charged with murder, but that charge was dropped as tests showed no signs of suffocation.

They could not prove that she was not already dead.

The judge said he took into account the fact that Vollrath was entirely motivated by compassion and his motivation was in no way malevolent.

He took into account the desire of the Vollrath family for compassion, Vollrath's early guilty plea, his full cooperation and remorse, and his lack of previous convictions.

He imposed a three-year sentence, but suspended it on Vollrath entering into a bond to be of good behaviour.