1. ITV Report

American nurse who aided Coventry man's suicide has conviction reversed

American nurse William Melchert-Dinkel has had his conviction reversed Photo: ITV News Central

An America nurse who was found guilty of aiding the suicide of Coventry man over the internet has had his conviction reversed.

William Melchert-Dinkel was ordered to serve a year in prison in 2011 after being found guilty of aiding Mark Drybrough's suicide.

32-year-old Mark Drybrough hanged himself in 2005 Credit: ITV News Central

Mr Drybrough, who was 32 and from Coventry, hanged himself in 2005. Melchert-Dinkel, of Faribault in Minnesota, posed as a suicidal female nurse on the internet to befriend him.

Melchert-Dinkel was also found guilty of aiding the suicide 18-year-old Canadian Nadia Kajouji. She died after jumping into a river in 2008.

Mark's mother, Elaine Drybrough, said the American nurse's actions were "immoral".

What Melchert-Dinkel did was immoral but whether or not it's illegal is another matter and is to be decided by the courts.

I don't think anyone would be able to do what he did, and the way he did it, today.

He was doing it continuously from the time he was speaking to my son and Nadia. He'd been doing it for years before their deaths, probably because he enjoyed it.

– Elaine Drybrough, Mark's mother

It was argued by Melchert-Dinkel's lawyer that he was exercising his right to free speech. He also argued the law, which states, anyone who "intentionally advises, encourages, or assists another in taking the other's own life" is guilty of a crime - was too broad.

It was also argued that he had no influence on either person's actions.

His year long sentence is now on hold after a ruling by a Supreme Court judge.