The value judgements of the Police about Bev are ridiculous. Perhaps they stemmed from the relative youth of the officers involved. Perhaps the officers of Operation Painter had other motives (ie. they took pity on poor ‘blind’ Bev). Regardless of their reasons, Police discretion is a powerful factor in how the criminal justice system operates. Nowhere is this more obvious than in Suzy Austen’s experience.
Lesson No 7 - If you find yourself the object of Police interest, perhaps play the age and dementia cards. You never know, you might get lucky like Bev Hurrelle.
Legal Lessons from Suzy’s Trial
So what was it about Suzy’s involvement with Annemarie Treadwell that led the jury to find her ‘not guilty’? Legally speaking, to be convicted Suzy would need to have done something that she knew was going to enable Annemarie to suicide. And Suzy would have had to have intended her action to be received in that way.
This would require an intimate knowledge of Annemarie’s plans, including knowledge of the day, manner and circumstances of her suicide. And the jury would have needed to believe this chain of events ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. As it was, the jury found that while Suzy had provided Nembutal to Annemarie they did not believe that Suzy had sufficient knowledge of Annemarie’s actual plans.
The one defence witness that was called was an academic expert in the area of palliative care, Professor Glynn Owens. In his written statement to the court, the Professor said that access to end of life drugs can provide people with ‘peace of mind and