Birmingham Mail journalist to have pre-trial hearing transferred

The Birmingham Mail journalist who faces charges for wasting police time over claims she helped kill her sick aunt is to have her pre-trial hearing transferred to Birmingham Magistrates Court following a request from her defence lawyer.

Maureen Messent, 67, had been due to have the hearing at Newton Abbot Magistrates Court on 15 August. In February, Messent wrote in a Mail column debating euthanasia laws that she had given Eileen O'Sullivan a lethal dose of morphine to help relieve her suffering from lung cancer 40 years ago in Devon.

Messent wrote that a doctor and family friend had said: "Give her this as she needs it." The Crown Prosecution Service decided to press charges following an investigation by Cornwall and Devon Police into whether her comments were true.

Messent, who is listed in Press Gazette's Regional Newspaper Hall of Fame, is due to stand trial on 11 October.

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