Breaking: Gail O'Rorke found not guilty of two charges in assisted suicide case

CourtsBy Sunday World
Gail O'Rorke
Gail O'Rorke

The jury in the trial of a woman accused of helping her friend take her own life has been ordered to find her not guilty on two of the three charges against her.

Following legal argument at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Patrick McCartan ordered the jury to acquit Gail O’Rorke (43) of ordering a lethal dose of barbiturates from Mexico which were later taken by Bernadette Forde (51) to end her life.

The judge also told the jury of six men and six women to find Ms O’Rorke not guilty of “procuring” the suicide of her friend by helping to organise her funeral before her death.

Ms O’Rorke remains accused of attempting to help Ms Forde get to an euthanasia clinic in Switzerland, a plan that was thwarted when the travel agent alerted gardaí.

Judge McCartan told jurors that he was ordering not guilty verdicts in the final two charges because he agreed with the defence’s argument that the prosecution has not produced enough evidence to convict her on the counts.

The prosecution has now concluded its case and the defence is not going into evidence. The jury will now hear closing speeches from both counsel.

Ms O’Rorke (43), a taxi driver from Kilclare Gardens, Tallaght has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to aiding and abetting the suicide of Ms Forde by helping her to procure and administer a toxic substance between April 20, 2011 and June 6, 2011 at a location in Dublin.

She also denied that she attempted to aid and abet the suicide of Ms Forde by means of attempting to arrange travel to Zurich, Switzerland for such purpose between March 10 and April 20, 2011 and that she procured the suicide of Ms Forde between June 4 and June 6, 2011 by means of making funeral arrangements for Ms Forde in advance of her death.

By Conor Gallagher