Gail O'Rorke: Dublin woman found not guilty of assisted suicide

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Image caption Gail O'Rorke has been found not guilty of attempting to assist the suicide of her friend

A woman charged with attempting to assist the suicide of her friend by arranging for her to travel to Switzerland has been found not guilty by a court in the Republic of Ireland.

Gail O'Rorke, 43, from Dublin, denied assisting the suicide of Bernadette Forde in June 2011.

Last week, she was acquitted on two other charges of assisting suicide.

It was the first case of its kind under legislation introduced in 1993.

Ms Forde, who was 51 and had multiple sclerosis for 10 years, ended her life at her home in Dublin on 6 June 2011.

She had taken a lethal dose of medication bought on the internet.

Ms O'Rorke, from Tallaght, was charged with aiding and abetting the suicide by assisting in the procurement and administration of a toxic substance.

She was not present when Ms Forde took the lethal dose of medication but the prosecution said she had helped to obtain it by making a money transfer to Mexico.

Ms Forde had earlier been forced to cancel a trip to the Dignitas clinic in Zurich, which helps people to end their lives, after intervention by police who were alerted by a travel agent.

Ms O'Rorke, Ms Forde's friend and carer, was warned by police that it would be an offence to travel with her to Zurich.

She was later charged with attempting to assist a suicide for making those travel arrangements.

She was further charged with procuring a suicide by making funeral arrangements two days before Ms Forde's death.

However, the judge ruled there was insufficient evidence on the charges of assisting the suicide and directed the jury to find her not guilty on both charges.

The judge allowed the charge of attempting to assist a suicide by making travel arrangements to continue for consideration by the jury.

But the jury of six men and six women delivered a not-guilty verdict on Tuesday.

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