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A 53-year-old “devoted son” has been cleared of murder after throwing his 79-year-old mother off a 13-foot balcony to her death.

Robert Knight was visiting his mother, June Knight, at Langley Lodge Care Home in Essex Westcliff when he carried her out a fire exit and threw her from a first-floor balcony, causing Mrs Knight ‘catastrophic’ brain injuries that resulted in her death.

Following his arrest, Knight told authorities that he did not want to see his mother in pain after she had contracted a winter virus.

A jury found that Knight had suffered from “loss of control” when he placed his mother on a railing before pushing her to her death. He was cleared of murder and was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years.

During the sentencing, Judge Samantha Leigh said Robert “acted out of love and desperation,” and described the incident as a “very sad case” and an act of “mercy killing.”

“You have been punished enough and you have to live with what you have done,” she said.

Mrs Knight, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, was being given end-of-life care at the home prior to her death.

But what does it say about us as a society when a man can throw his elderly mother from a balcony and have that same act described by the judge as an act of love? It says that we’ve rejected the truth that human life is sacred because all people are created in the image of God.

Death is the final indignity, and it’s imperative that our communities recognise that. Not only for the sake of elderly women but all people, including ourselves. Today, it’s the unborn and elderly, but tomorrow, who can tell?


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