“He wanted to die,” 44-year-old Natasha Gordon told a jury of her peers. “Everybody has a choice to do what they do. You don’t expect to be forced to do anything.
“He really wanted to go.”
The man Gordon is referring to is Matthew Birkinshaw, who was found dead in his Fiat Punto from an apparent suicide at Rutland Water on December 17, 2015, at the age of 31. He died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Gordon met Birkinshaw on an internet forum where suicidal people go to encourage one another to go through with the act. Gordon, an “enthusiastic advocate” of suicide, had made a pact with Birkinshaw. The plan was confirmed in a text she sent to him reading, “I really can’t wait to go tomorrow, I hope you do not change your mind.”
The two then traveled to the breathtaking reservoir where Gordon, wearing a leopard-print coat with matching hat and leggings, ultimately changed her mind and left Birkinshaw’s car.
“If you’re suicidal, you’re suicidal. That doesn’t change,” Gordon informed the jury.
Less than an hour after leaving Birkinshaw, Gordon had already texted two other men where she apparently began to engage in further suicide pacts.
“I only tried to help him,” Gordon said during her arrest.
Nearly two years after Birkinshaw’s death, Gordon was found guilty at Leicester Crown Court of encouraging the suicide of a man she met online. Despite the former pole dancer’s denial, a jury found Gordon responsible for taking advantage of Birkinshaw’s vulnerable mental state and spurring on his final actions rather than seek help.
Gordon will be sentenced in January.