:: The Daily Telegraph | Couple who killed son spared jail ::

Couple who killed son spared jail

By Lisa Davies
April 04, 2007 12:00

A SYDNEY couple who killed their disabled son before an operation which would have robbed him of his only link to the outside world have escaped a jail term, after a judge ruled they had suffered enough.

After 28 years of trauma and grief, Margaret and Raymond Sutton were delivered a final tragic blow - doctors told them their son Matthew, born with a rare chromosomal defect which made him blind, was going deaf.

Even surgery would only save at best only 10 percent of his hearing. 

Tragically, in Matthew’s world, music was his only joy – so the Suttons resorted to a final, desperate, act of love, killing their son to spare him from an horrific, blank existence.

The Suttons pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Matthew in the NSW Supreme Court last month.
Justice Graham Barr has just sentenced the pair to a five year good behaviour bond each.

He said the community would not be served by them being jailed and separated from the vital support they give each other.

“It seems to me that there is nothing the court can do to add to the offenders’ suffering. The need for futher suffering is spent.”

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