November 07, 2005

Mom Who Killed Son Will Serve No Prison Time

By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express

OXFORD, ENGLAND--Wendolyn Markcrow will serve no prison time for admittedly suffocating to death her son, Patrick, who had Down syndrome and autism.

Mr. Justice Gross sentenced 67-year-old Markcrow on Wednesday to two years in prison but suspended the sentence, calling that the "merciful course and right course".

Markcrow pleaded guilty in September to manslaughter rather than murder, on the ground of diminished responsibility.

The court heard how Patrick, 36, spent the day after Easter repeatedly playing one Elton John CD and repeatedly shouting the name "Elton".

Markcrow told police she "went crazy". She gave Patrick 14 tranquilizer pills, and then while he slept she held a plastic bag over his face until he died.

Markcrow's attorney told the court that her client begged for support from local services to help her with her son, but received little.

Mike Colston, of Buckinghamshire county council's adult social care section, said services were offered, but that Markcrow would not accept them.

"Mother who killed son avoids jail" (BBC News)

"Mother who killed son with Down's syndrome gets suspended sentence" (The Guardian)

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Posted on November 07, 2005