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Man discharged over wife's suicide can now move on

Published: 10:21AM Thursday September 13, 2012 Source: ONE News / Fairfax

An Auckland man says he can finally move on with his life after he was discharged without conviction for assisting in the suicide of his wife.

Evans James Mott, 61, pleaded guilty in May to assisting in the death of his wife Rosemary, who suffered from multiple sclerosis.

Outside the Auckland High Court today, Mott said he could finally move on nine months after the death of his wife.

"It's a miracle, it's so good that New Zealand had the vision to tell right from wrong."

Rosemary Mott, 57, died at her home in Paritai Drive, Orakei, on December 28 last year after battling with an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis for more than four years.

Her husband of 24 years was accused of aiding and abetting her suicide by allegedly helping her to research euthanasia and acquiring equipment and material for her.

According to Exit International, a pro-choice group, Rosemary contacted the Auckland chapter about a year ago. It said she accessed a book, which is partially censored in New Zealand, about voluntary euthanasia.

"If you know someone who's got a hideous disease that's degenerative... you're hardly going to say wait until you're a basket case," Mott told TVNZ's Sunday programme.

The court room erupted in applause today when Justice Patricia Courtney wished Mott luck after she had discharged him without conviction.

She said the case was vastly different from other cases and the consequences of a conviction would outweigh the gravity of what he had done.

"You acted out of love and your motivation was to support your wife in the decision she made," said Courtney.

She also pointed to growing support for a re-thin of euthanasia laws.

MP Maryan Street's 'Right to life' Bill is yet to be drawn from the ballot.

"Why should the law prevent you from doing that, or prevent someone who loves you assist you from doing that," said Street.

In November last year, Auckland man Sean Davison was sentenced to five months home detention for assisting the suicide of his terminally ill mother in Dunedin.

His charges followed the publication of his book, Before We Say Goodbye, in which he admitted giving his mother morphine before she died.