24 Nov 2011

Law 'hell bent on convicting me' - Davison

9:28 pm on 24 November 2011

A man sentenced to five months' home detention for assisting his terminally ill mother's suicide says the law was hellbent on convicting him.

Sean Davison was convicted this morning in Dunedin for counselling and procuring the suicide of his mother Patricia Davison in 2006.

He was on trial in Dunedin three weeks ago for attempted murder when the Crown on Thursday changed the charge to the lesser one of counselling and procuring suicide.

Davison confidently pleaded guilty to the alternative.

In sentencing him, Justice French said Davison's offending was at the lower end of the scale so she was handing down a sentence of five months' home detention.

She told Davison his actions were significantly premeditated but she accepts he did it out of love and compassion and not for personal gain.

She said he had to be convicted because the court had to uphold the sanctity of human life.

Outside court, Davison thanked the judge for the lenient sentence but said he is not happy with the outcome.

He says the trial was not about justice but about getting a conviction at all costs.

The law was also on trial in the case, he says, and it has been found guilty of inhumanity.

Davison says he will be discussing with his lawyer whether they should appeal against the sentence.

Patricia Davison died in 2006 after a battle with cancer and a month-long hunger strike.

During the trial the court heard how Davison crushed up a lethal dose of morphine tablets and helped her drink the cocktail.

Lawyer says sentence will help law change lobbyists

Sean Davison's lawyer, Roger Laybourn told Checkpoint the Judge's recognition that his client's actions were motivated by love and compassion were very encouraging recognition the case was "exceptional".

Mr Laybourn says he believes this will help the case for a law change and he called on politicians to "pull it out of the too-hard basket".