Son will not be prosecuted over suicide

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The Independent Online

courts The son of the conductor Sir Edward Downes will not be charged with assisting his suicide, the Director of Public Prosecutions said yesterday. Keir Starmer said there was sufficient evidence to prosecute Caractacus Downes but it was not in the public interest to do so. Sir Edward died with his wife, Lady Joan Downes, at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland on 10 July last year. The Metropolitan Police launched an inquiry, and found evidence that Mr Downes booked a hotel room in Switzerland for his parents and accompanied them. Mr Starmer said these acts would be sufficient to charge him under the Suicide Act 1961. But he added that there was evidence that Mr Downes's parents reached a "voluntary, clear, settled and informed" decision to take their lives and Mr Downes was "wholly motivated by compassion".