Man who 'killed for love' gets bail

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Dorset police yesterday released on bail a man who confessed to the mercy killing of his seven-week-old daughter.

Nigel Nelson had admitted to Poole police that he deliberately increased the intravenous morphine dose, being used as a painkilling device, on his terminally ill daughter Naomi. "I did it for love, I helped her rest in peace," he said.

Mr Nelson, 41, of Kinson, Bournemouth, is unlikely to be charged immediately as police are still questioning staff and examining records at Poole General Hospital where the baby died in November 1992.

Naomi was born five weeks prematurely by emergency caesarean section. Her mother Joanne suffered an umbilical collapse starving her of oxygen and her daughter was born brain damaged, blind and unable to move or swallow.

Mr Nelson told the Daily Mirror how doctors explained to the couple that Naomi "had virtually no quality of life" and "could never survive". Together they decided that it was best to withhold treatment. "We didn't even hesitate," Mr Nelson said. "We knew that we didn't want our little angel to suffer any more."

On 5 November, he was summoned to the hospital by staff who told him that Naomi was likely to die very soon. Twenty fours later, however, "she was still lingering on, still suffering; it was pure agony to watch".

It was then - without the knowledge of doctors or nurses - that he adjusted Naomi's diamorphine dose. Minutes later she died.

Mr Nelson's admission follows the recent and continuing controversy over a massively brain-damaged 22-month-old boy in Humberside whose parents are seeking High Court permission to stop feeding him.