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Coroners and Justice Act 2009

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

59Encouraging or assisting suicide (England and Wales)
This sectionnoteType=Explanatory Notes has no associated

(1)The Suicide Act 1961 (c. 60) is amended as follows.

(2)In section 2 (criminal liability for complicity in another’s suicide), for subsection (1) substitute—

(1)A person (“D”) commits an offence if—

(a)D does an act capable of encouraging or assisting the suicide or attempted suicide of another person, and

(b)D’s act was intended to encourage or assist suicide or an attempt at suicide.

(1A)The person referred to in subsection (1)(a) need not be a specific person (or class of persons) known to, or identified by, D.

(1B)D may commit an offence under this section whether or not a suicide, or an attempt at suicide, occurs.

(1C)An offence under this section is triable on indictment and a person convicted of such an offence is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years.

(3)In subsection (2) of that section, for “it” to the end substitute “of a person it is proved that the deceased person committed suicide, and the accused committed an offence under subsection (1) in relation to that suicide, the jury may find the accused guilty of the offence under subsection (1).”

(4)After that section insert—

2AActs capable of encouraging or assisting

(1)If D arranges for a person (“D2”) to do an act that is capable of encouraging or assisting the suicide or attempted suicide of another person and D2 does that act, D is also to be treated for the purposes of this Act as having done it.

(2)Where the facts are such that an act is not capable of encouraging or assisting suicide or attempted suicide, for the purposes of this Act it is to be treated as so capable if the act would have been so capable had the facts been as D believed them to be at the time of the act or had subsequent events happened in the manner D believed they would happen (or both).

(3)A reference in this Act to a person (“P”) doing an act that is capable of encouraging the suicide or attempted suicide of another person includes a reference to P doing so by threatening another person or otherwise putting pressure on another person to commit or attempt suicide.

2BCourse of conduct

A reference in this Act to an act includes a reference to a course of conduct, and a reference to doing an act is to be read accordingly.

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