Elderly Couple Wanted To End Their Lives Together - Then She Was Arrested For Murder
This is the heartbreaking final picture that was taken of Mavis and Dennis Eccleston, a couple who had been married for 60 years and decided to take a legal cocktail of drugs in a bid to end their lives together.
This was because 81-year-old Mr Eccleston had been diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer and his 'devoted' wife was willing to sacrifice her own life so that they could pass away together.
Shortly after taking the pills, the pair were found by their daughter and granddaughter and quickly rushed to hospital, clinging to life.
Mr Eccleston, who had a do not resuscitate order placed on his record, died just 20 minutes after this picture was taken.
But medics saved the life of Mrs Eccleston. Then the following day, she was arrested - still wearing her dressing gown, nightie and slippers - and held in a cell for 30 hours.
On 1 April this year, Mavis and Dennis' three children were given the devastating news their mum was to be charged with murder.
But in September, after a harrowing three-week trial, jurors returned a not-guilty verdict and now the couple's daughter, Joy Munns, has released the last photograph of her parents.
Calling for an urgent change in the law on assisted suicide, Joy wrote: "Does our 80-year-old mom look like a murderer? My brother Kevin and I have decided to share this heartbreaking photo with you all.
"The reason is to gain awareness of what families have to go through watching their loved ones suffer. Mom was charged with murder for trying to commit suicide alongside our cancer-riddled dad.
"He wanted to be out of pain - the love of her life for 60 years, she couldn't bear to see him suffer. She was willing to give the ultimate sacrifice, her own life. Why? Because of the law in this country."
Joy went on: "She should never have been charged with murder and put in a cell for 30 hours then made to stand trial for nearly three weeks, where luckily the jury saw sense and justice prevailed with a not guilty verdict.
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"Loved ones will be made to suffer in pain every day unless we can change the law. Surely as adults, with the correct safeguards, we should have a choice.
"I'm so proud to be British and as Britons could you ever believe our country would allow this to happen? It did.
"This was never meant for public eyes but we wanted to share it to make everyone aware and if it helps us change the law, then it'll be worth it."
Joy said her mum is now 'doing OK', but that her dad would have been 'devastated' if he knew what had happened.
"They were together 60 years," she said. "If he thought for a minute his wife would have had to go through this it would have destroyed him.
"You couldn't write what has happened to us, but this is people's lives and this is what will continue to happen unless there is a change in the law."
In September, BirminghamLive reported how Mrs Eccleston had been 'annoyed' to wake up in hospital to find out her simultaneous suicide attempt had failed.
The 80-year-old said her husband had told her he intended to end his life rather than live through his deteriorating bowel cancer.
She said she had replied: "If that's the way you are going then I am coming too."
In February last year, Mrs Eccleston penned a long suicide note to their family, and then the couple attempted to take their own lives at their home in Raven Close, Huntington, near Cannock.
"Goodnight darling," were Mr Eccleston's last words, to which Mrs Eccleston said she replied: "Goodnight, God bless."
She added: "When I saw the nurses around me, when I realised I hadn't died, I felt... well, very annoyed. I wanted to be with my husband. You wouldn't let an animal suffer the way Dennis was suffering.
"I don't regret what I did and wouldn't change what happened. I live with a very contended family and I am happy for them - but I would still rather be with Dennis."
Featured Image Credit: BPM Media