Former pole-dancer jailed after encouraging a man to kill himself

Former pole-dancer Natasha Gordon, 44, who entered into a suicide pact with a postman and left him to die alone, arrives at Leicester Crown Court to be sentenced on Friday
Former pole-dancer Natasha Gordon, 44, who entered into a suicide pact with a postman and left him to die alone, arrives at Leicester Crown Court to be sentenced on Friday

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

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

She was described during her trial as an “enthusiastic advocate” of suicide, attempting to arrange other pacts within hours of Mr Birkinshaw’s death.

After leaving him to die, Gordon did not tell police officers who were just 450 metres away.

Mr Birkinshaw, of Walsall, West Midlands, was found in his Fiat Punto in Oakham, Rutland.

Gordon, 44 and of Paston Ridings, Peterborough, had been charged with encouraging him to commit suicide, according to media reports.

She was convicted by a jury at Leicester Crown Court in December.

Addressing the 44-year-old, who was flanked by a security officer in the dock 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.

“You were gripped by your self-centredness.”

The judge accepted Mr Birkinshaw would have more than likely taken his own life but said Gordon had influenced his decision to commit suicide and the method he chose.

Mr Birkinshaw’s mother, Margaret Birkinshaw, fought back tears as she read out her victim impact statement in court.

She said: “It’s impossible to put into words the effect the loss of Matthew has had on our family.

“He was everything to us and has left a space no-one else can ever fill.”