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Doctor charged with strangling mother

Published: 6:25PM Monday March 05, 2001

An Auckland doctor is charged with killing his elderly mother by strangling her with her own morphine cord.

Florence Majorie Simpson, 81, was terminally ill and died in October.

Her son, Doctor Christopher Simpson, is charged with murder.

At the depositions hearing, the court heard from ambulance officers Trevor Benns and Norman Upjohn.

They told how they found Florence Simpson lying on her back in bed, with a cord from her morphine drip wrapped around her neck.

The court heard when the ambulance arrived at Kayeleen Place they were confronted by a man at the front door who was tense and fidgeting.

Officer Upjohn described him as the most agitated person he had come across in his fourteen year career.

Both ambulance officers say they were immediately suspicious.

Upjohn said he was getting concerned for his safety because he felt they had nowhere to escape.

He then told the court that Simpson tried to give them $40, allegedly saying they had done their job, and recommending they go buy a beer.

The ambulance officers then called police.

The court was told that during an interview a few hours later, Simpson said: "I know my mother did not believe in euthanasia, and she would've wanted to hang in until the end."

The court also heard Simpson reiterated he did not believe in euthanasia either.

The crown prosecutor Keiran Rafferty alleges Simpson killed his mother by smothering her, but only after trying several other methods.

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