Pharmacist Faces Trial for Father’s Murder in UK
The case of an Indian-origin pharmacist, Bipin Desai, has gone on trial this week in the United Kingdom after he was charged with murder, and assisted suicide in the alternative, in relation to the death of his father, Dhirajlal Desai, on Aug. 26, 2015.
Assisted suicide is illegal in the United Kingdom. It is prohibited by section 2(1) of the Suicide Act 1961.
According to Desai, his father, 85, was depressed and wanted to end his life. Prosecutor William Boyce told Guildford Crown Court that he confessed to assisted suicide only when the police said it would do a forensic examination of his father’s body. According to Boyce, Desai wanted to disguise the death as a natural one. The post-mortem revealed that Dhirajlal had 1,038 mg of free morphine per liter of blood in his body.
“He knew when he went to work (the next day) that his father was dead. You have to consider what kind of actor he is,” Boyce told the court. “If you are going to assist your father’s suicide, do you go to the gym? Do you watch Manchester United while your father is upstairs on his last night on earth?,” he said, according to GetSurrey.co.uk.
When Desai went to work the next day, his colleagues thought he was his usual self. When he returned home later, he called an ambulance, saying that he found his father dead just then.
Paramedics said that Desai’s behavior was “consistent with someone who had just found out his father had died.”
Two days later, Chandra handed himself to the police, saying he aided his father to commit suicide as he was depressed after the death of his wife, and later, his dog.
“Pleading guilty to the lesser offence is just to avoid the truth, which is that this was murder,” said Boyce. The prosecution also asked why he did not try to get help from the NHS or privately if Dhirajlal was depressed. “The first step would be medical intervention, not a lethal dose of morphine,” Boyce said.
Desai, 59, confessed to giving his father a fruit smoothie that contained morphine before going downstairs to watch football and injected him with a lethal dose of insulin in August 2015 to help him end his life. He pleaded guilty to stealing two drugs from his workplace, Vaughan James Chemist in Farnham.
“He suffered no debilitating or disabling symptoms. He was not, on the face of it, near death despite his advancing years,” Boyce told the jury. In response, Desai’s lawyer Paul Bogan QC said there would be an application to dismiss the murder charge, which will be heard by a High Court judge.
Desai was granted bail earlier after paying £200,000 as surety. He lives in a £1.3 million home in Dockenfield, near Farnham, Surrey. He has been a community warden and former member of the parish council.
“After an assessment of the evidence provided to us by the police it has been decided that Bipin Desai should face one charge of murder, with assisted suicide in the alternative, in relation to the death of his father, Dhirajlil Desai, on 26 August 2015. He will also face two charges of theft,” a Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) spokesperson said in November 2016.