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1 December 2017, 18:58
A former pole dancer from Peterborough has been convicted of encouraging a stranger she met online to kill himself.
Natasha Gordon, who backed out of a suicide pact with 31 year-old postman Matthew Birkinshaw at the last minute, was found guilty of a single charge of encouraging suicide by a jury at Leicester Crown Court, the Crown Prosecution Service said.
The 44 year-old ex-model was described by the prosecution as an "enthusiastic advocate" of suicide and started other suicide pacts within hours of Mr Birkinshaw's death on December 17, 2015.
Gordon, of Paston Ridings, Peterborough, told the jury that she had no input into his decision to kill himself.
But after backing out of the pact and leaving him to die alone on, she did not tell police officers who were just 450 metres away.
Mr Birkinshaw, of Walsall, West Midlands, was pronounced dead at 7.24pm, just after he was found in his Fiat Punto at Rutland Water.
He had swapped messages with Gordon after he posted online seeking a suicide partner.
He then travelled to her home before the pair drove together to Rutland Water.
Michael Gregory, from the CPS, said:
"The evidence put forward by the prosecution demonstrated how Natasha Gordon broke the law by encouraging the suicide of Matthew Birkinshaw. Through analysing her online activity the CPS was able to demonstrate how Gordon took advantage of Matthew's vulnerability to encourage his final actions, rather than seeking help.
"The prosecution also established that she had previously contacted other people to encourage their suicides. Our thoughts are with Matthew's family at this difficult time."
Ms Gordon will be sentenced in January.