David McLean: Former Winchester mayor cleared of attempting to murder his terminally ill mother who medics thought was about to die

A former mayor of Winchester has been cleared of attempting to murder his terminally ill mother after the case was thrown out of court.

David McLean was charged with the attempted murder of 92-year-old Margaret McLean at her home in Waltham Chase, Hampshire, in the early hours of 7 October 2022.

But after legal discussions, judge Mrs Justice McGowan told the jury at Winchester Crown Court that there was not enough evidence available for them to decide on a verdict.

Prosecutors had accused the 72-year-old of smothering Mrs McLean with a cushion because he "could not stand to watch her suffering".

During the trial the former mayor told the court he said "I'm sorry mum" as he pressed the pillow over her face as she was "suffocating in her own snot".

Mrs McLean was undergoing end-of-life care and medics thought she was about to die, jurors were told.

The court was shown body-worn video filmed by a firearms officer who was called to the house after McLean had told an NHS 111 operator that he had killed his mother.

McLean, of Morley Drive, Bishop's Waltham, was shown on the footage confirming his name and when asked if he was alright, he replied: "No, I am not alright, my mother is dead."

Mrs Justice McGowan threw out the case having heard all the evidence, including from the prosecution's psychiatrist.

The judge previously told jurors: "It is pure coincidence that there is a debate in the House of Commons on assisted dying and assisted suicide.

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"This is not what this case is about and this will have no impact on this case at all."

A petition for a debate on assisted dying, backed by journalist and campaigner Dame Esther Rantzen, gained more than 200,000 signatures.

MPs crammed into Westminster Hall on 29 April to discuss the topic and share their experiences both for and against legalisation.

McLean served as mayor of Winchester from 2017 to 2018.