Man Cleared of Murder After Throwing Mother with Alzheimer's Off Balcony, Judge Praises Act of 'Love'
Robert Knight, a 52-year-old man from Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, England, fully admitted to the premeditated killing of his mother, a 79-year-old widow who suffered from Alzheimer’s.
Despite knowing full well that he had planned his mother’s death for days, British courts cleared Knight of murder, instead downgrading his charges to manslaughter, according to Live Action News.
Knight, having spent nine months in custody awaiting trial, was ordered to serve only a further 60 days of rehabilitation for sending an elderly woman tumbling headfirst from a 13-foot balcony at her care home.
He justified his act by citing his mother’s Alzheimer’s and a recent diagnosis of a virus, and said he didn’t want to see her suffer anymore.
Prosecutor Andrew Jackson outlined Knight’s thought process throughout the ordeal, LAN reported.
“He told police he had decided he would end her life,” Jackson said. “Asked if he had contemplated any other way, he told police he would not have been able to face the prospect of smothering her with a pillow.
“He [admitted] carrying her from her bed and that he would have had to have acted quickly.”
Knight revealed even more harrowing details to police, such as the fact that his mother was awake the entire time.
“He told police his mother was conscious and looking at him and was in pain,” Jackson said, according to LAN. “It’s more likely she was terrified about what was about to happen to her. He told police he wanted her to hit the ground with a big crack so she would be knocked unconscious.
“In order to achieve that, he tilted her body so that her head might hit the ground first.”
However, June didn’t die right away. Her fall caused catastrophic brain damage, yet she survived for minutes after the fall. Knight’s actions caused his mother unspeakable pain until she died, doing so only after paramedics arrived.
Knight was open with police and prosecutors throughout the investigation, choosing to alert the care home staff of the killing and stay in the building until police arrived.
And, fortunately for him but unfortunately for society at large, his subsequent murder charges were downgraded significantly.
The judge presiding over the case, Samantha Leigh, went so far as to praise Knight, calling his actions a “mercy killing.”
“You are someone who acted out of love and desperation,” Leigh said, according to The Telegraph. “You have been punished enough and you have to live with what you have done.”
Appallingly, Leigh believed that even the resulting manslaughter conviction was too harsh.
“This is a very sad case — anyone listening to the details of Mrs. Knight’s illness and her condition couldn’t fail to be moved,” she said. “This case, I’m sure, was a very finely balanced one as to whether it was in the interest to prosecute in the first place.”
Yes, a sitting judge wondered out loud whether the state should prosecute a man who tossed an elderly woman off a balcony, only because the woman was sick and disabled.
The precedent that this case sets is nothing short of disastrous. We are continuing to slip down the slope caused by euthanasia, and we’re one step closer to justifying even more murder.
The assisted-suicide movement started as a way for terminally ill patients to voluntarily end their lives. Now we have the courts letting killers off easily because their victims were disabled.
Throw in selective abortion up until birth and the fact that governments can now make decisions about whether people should live, and we have a cocktail of death-worshiping societal depravity.
How far does this precedent go? June Knight had Alzheimer’s, a notoriously debilitating disease, but who gets to decide how much “suffering” a person is willing to live through? The killer?
Maybe we’ll get to the point of allowing people to kill cancer patients. Next, Parkinson’s will be defined as unbearable suffering. Lord willing, we’ll never see a time where you can stop on the side of the road and “mercifully” shoot a jogger who broke his ankle.
We can never know how far this “suffering” threshold will fall, and that’s the point. Instead of setting arbitrary levels of pain at which you’re allowed to take a life, maybe we should just understand that life itself is beautiful and worth preserving.
Unfortunately, that might seem like a novel concept these days. But it’s no less worth fighting for.
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