'Mercy killing' columnist bailed

A Birmingham newspaper columnist who claimed to have been involved in the mercy killing of her great aunt has been bailed by a court.

Maureen Messent, 67, is accused of wasting police time in relation to an article published in the Birmingham Mail on February 1 this year in which she alleged that she had administered an overdose of morphine to a relative in Devon more than 30 years ago.

Messent, of Cannon Hill Road, Balsall Heath, Birmingham, is charged under the Criminal Law Act 1967 with making false reports by means of a newspaper article and a radio interview.

The journalist, who has yet to enter a plea, failed to appear at Birmingham Magistrates' Court for a pre-trial review and her case was adjourned until November 8.


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