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Kay Gilderdale radio interview

Friday 14 May 2010

BBC Radio 2 with Jeremy VineThe UK's BBC Radio 2 with Jeremy Vine (pictured) interviewed Kay Gilderdale on Tuesday 11 May. Kay had gone to court charged with the attempted murder of her daughter Lynn who had been suffering with severe ME/CFS. Kay was charged as a result of admitting to assisting in Lynn's suicide but was subsequently acquitted.

Here is the interview from Tuesday 11 May 2010:

You can also download the audio file here (14.44MB).

Thanks to Garcia for making the file available, especially for people outside the UK.

A transcript of the interview has been posted on Indigo Jo Blogs. The transcript can also be downloaded as a text file:


Interview transcript (Text file, 15KB)

For more on both Jeremy Vine and Kay Gilderdale, here's an article from The Telegraph about Jeremy interviewing Kay for a UK TV special:

Jeremy Vine: my admiration for Kay Gilderdale

Panorama presenter Jeremy Vine recalls his emotional meetings with Kay Gilderdale before and after she was cleared of attempting to murder her ill daughter, Lynn

By Jeremy Vine
Published: 7:00AM GMT 31 Jan 2010

Kay Gilderdale with Jeremy Vine
BBC presenter Jeremy Vine interviewing Kay Gilderdale for a Panorama special, 'I Helped My Daughter Die'. Photo: ANNA GORDON

It is one of those stories. The sort that, when you hear about it, make you puzzle over the moral almost immediately. As the editor of Panorama sketched the component parts out to me in our brightly-lit office in west London – a mother, a dead child, an arrest, a possible court case – I wasn’t sure what I would find in the shadows. There were only the basic facts: Kay Gilderdale had been present when her daughter died. Now she was in trouble with the police. She had cared for Lynn for years. And she was willing to speak to us.

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Sometimes the facts don’t tell you everything. Sometimes they tell you less than nothing. I took the train to Sussex with no clue as to what kind of person Kay would be. All I knew was that she had lost her daughter. But then, if she had helped the young woman to die or even killed her, what kind of loss are you offering your sympathies for?

The former auxiliary nurse saved me the trouble of wrestling with that, greeting me at the front door of her home with natural charm and a warm, if slightly nervous, smile. She lives in a cul-de-sac in Stonegate, Sussex, and gestured to sandwiches generously made for my camera crew and producer as she boiled the kettle. At this point, last summer, she had been charged with assisting a suicide and attempted murder. But I freely admit that, as I heard the story directly from her, I could not believe the case would come to anything.

We sat on the sofa overlooking the tidy pocket of grass at the front of the bungalow and she described her daughter, choosing her words deliberately, often pausing to collect herself as if her outward composure was only ever a memory away from disintegration.

“Oh, Lynn was very popular,” she said. “She’d come home from school bursting to tell you everything that was going on. She loved sailing, she loved swimming. She loved music and dancing. She was interested in everything really.”

I watched her carefully as she spoke, this slender, attractive woman of 55, immersed in grief but still able to draw comfort from distant happiness. Journalists are trained sceptics, of course, but I never found myself doubting the love in her voice.

You can read the full article here.

And here's an article from The Telegraph on the results of the court case:

Kay Gilderdale: 'watching my daughter die was like having my heart ripped out'

Kay Gilderdale, the mother cleared of attempting to murder her seriously ill daughter, has said watching her die was like "having my heart ripped out".

By Caroline Gammell, Tom Whitehead and Kate Devlin
Published: 7:00AM GMT 26 Jan 2010

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Kay Gilderdale was acquitted of the crime, despite previously admitting to helping 31-year-old Lynn commit suicide. Miss Gilderdale decided she wanted to end her life after her body had been left "broken" by 17 years of the chronic fatigue illness ME and died following a cocktail of morphine and other drugs.

Her mother admitted assisting her suicide by giving her sleeping pills, antidepressants and injecting air into her veins in December 2008.

In an interview with the BBC's Panorama programme, to be shown next Monday, Mrs Gilderdale said helping to end her daughter's life was the hardest thing she had ever done.

"There will be nothing that compares to that pain and heartbreak of watching my beautiful daughter leave this world," she said.

"You are torn apart. You have one part of you wanting to respect your daughter's wishes and understanding everything they have been through.

"You have got your heart being ripped out at the same time because all you want to do is to get them better and keep them alive."

After admitting assisting her daughter's suicide Mrs Gilderdale was also prosecuted for the attempted murder of her daughter – only yesterday to be cleared unanimously by a jury in less than two hours.

You can read the full article here.

The article had an accompanying video about the acquittal:

Please note: This article contains references to death. If you have feelings of helplessness, or of suicidal thoughts, seek help immediately. Lifeline is an excellent starting point: Lifeline – Suicide Prevention resources and links.


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