Birmingham Mail's Messent bailed

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

Messent is accused of wasting police time in relation to an article published in the Birmingham Mail on 1 February 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, 67, an award-winning journalist, 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 8 November.

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