Former Peterborough pole dancer jailed for encouraging postman to kill himself

Court news
Court news

A former Peterborough pole-dancer has been jailed for four years after entering a suicide pact with a postman then leaving him to die alone.

Natasha Gordon, of Paston Ridings, Peterborough backed out of the agreement with 31-year-old Matthew Birkinshaw on December 17, 2015, getting out of his car before he killed himself.

Gordon had suggested the method and the location for this to happen.

The 44-year-old ex-model was described during her trial as an “enthusiastic advocate” of suicide - attempting to arrange other pacts within hours of Mr Birkinshaw’s death.

Royal Mail employee Mr Birkinshaw, of Walsall, West Midlands, was pronounced dead at 7.24pm just after he was found in his Fiat Punto at Rutland Water in Oakham, Rutland.

Sentencing Gordon on Friday, Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb said: “This was a serious case because Matthew Birkinshaw actually took his own life after your encouragement.

“I have found you misled him into believing you were genuine and firmly intent on committing suicide with him, although you were not fully committed.”

Gordon, of Paston Ridings, Peterborough, denied a single charge of encouraging Mr Birkinshaw to take his own life but was convicted by a jury at Leicester Crown Court in December.

Speaking after the verdict was returned, Michael Gregory, from the CPS, said: “The evidence put forward by the prosecution demonstrated how Natasha Gordon broke the law by encouraging the suicide of Matthew Birkinshaw.

“Through analysing her online activity the CPS was able to demonstrate how Gordon took advantage of Matthew’s vulnerability to encourage his final actions, rather than seeking help. The prosecution also established that she had previously contacted other people to encourage their suicides.

“Our thoughts are with Matthew’s family at this difficult time.”