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Brisbane: A mother helped her severely disabled son kill himself because she was concerned about his ‘paedophilic tendencies’ and obsession with the Marquis de Sade, a court has heard.
Kim Margaret Earle, 49, was of diminished responsibility when she killed the 18-year-old on the Gold Coast in 2013, the Brisbane Supreme Court heard on Tuesday.
Justice Roslyn Atkinson sentenced her to a maximum of three years in prison but ordered she be released on parole on May 28.
‘Your son’s interest in sadomasochism, (child) pornographic websites and chat rooms and art had got you to the point where you couldn’t see any way out, where he wanted to die … and essentially you helped him to die out of your great love for him,’ Justice Atkinson said.
Earle also tried to take her own life and has since had electric shock therapy, which had affected her memory and means she needs be reminded of what she has done.
While working as a nurse at the Gold Coast Hospital, she took anaesthesia drugs and medical equipment to assist her son’s suicide before trying to kill herself, crown prosecutor David Meredith said.
Earle gave her son the drugs at their home and took the family dog to the vet to be put down. She then took the drugs herself, but they did not work and she was arrested after waking up the following day.
Earle believed her son had Asperger’s syndrome, according to the Gold Coast Bulletin.
She was concerned about her son’s sexual obsessions, the court heard.
‘He had pedophilic tendencies,’ Mr Meredith said.
The former nurse, whose life revolved around her son, has serious mental health issues including depression and anxiety, the court heard.
She has suffered a stroke from Lithium toxicity.
Earle has been in custody for about three years and three months and both the Crown and defence have asked Justice Roslyn Atkinson to set a non-parole period which would allow her to leave jail soon.
The Marquis de Sade was known in the 18th century for giving his name to masochism and later, sadomasochism.
The French soldier published fantasy novels of graphic sexual violence and spent many years in asylums and prisons for his violent sexual behaviour.