Assisted suicide appeal fails

A SUNSHINE Coast man, who helped kill two heroin addicts, unsuccessfully sought a pardon from the Queensland Governor and has now lost his bid for a review.

Stephen Wayne Carter was sentenced to life in prison in 2003 after twice being convicted for murdering Gail Marke by giving her a lethal injection of heroin at her Tewantin unit, the second after the Court of Appeal ordered a retrial.

He had pleaded guilty to aiding Patrick Smyth in killing himself the same way.

Justice Margaret Wilson, in a judgment handed down today, said Marke and Smyth were heroin addicts who wanted to end their lives.

She said after repeated requests over about two years, they prevailed on Carter to supply them with a "weight" of heroin which is about a gram.

They had driven to Nambour on March 16, 2000, to pick up the drugs before returning to Tewantin to inject the drugs.

"Satisfied they really wanted to die, (Carter) mixed up the heroin and injected Marke and helped Smyth inject himself," Justice Wilson said.

In his letter to the Governor in 2010, Carter pleaded for a pardon or mercy and argued he could not have been guilty of murder but only of assisting suicide.

The governor referred the matter for a judicial review.

During the Supreme Court application for review, Carter's legal team argued Marke had caused her own death by virtue of her own acts in asking Carter to help her die.

Senior counsel for the Attorney-General argued a person's consent to their death was immaterial to the criminal responsibility of the person who caused that death.

Justice Wilson agreed and found Marke's consent did not affect Carter's criminal responsibility.


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