Elderly man who entered suicide pact with wife faces possible five years in jail


Alone, his hands clasped in his lap, the diminutive 85-year-old man sat in the back of Napier District Court on Wednesday morning as others came and went from the seats around him.

Eventually his name was called. He appeared in the dock after a man accused of drink driving and before a man accused of supplying cannabis. He stood calmly as his lawyer entered a plea of guilty to a charge of Section 180 of the Crimes Act.

This section covers suicide pacts and states that when two or more people enter into a suicide pact and one of them does not die, then they are liable to a term of imprisonment for a term of up to five years.

In this man’s case he and his wife had been married for about 23 years. She was very ill and the couple decided to take their lives together.