Retired academic 'killed herself with euthanasia kit bought on the internet'

Credit: SWNS

A retired academic and pro-euthanasia campaigner has killed herself using a kit which she bought on the internet, it has been claimed.

Professor Avril Henry, 81, apparently ordered a package designed to help her take her own life from a seller based in Mexico.

Police visited her home in Brampford Speke, near Exeter, Devon, to check her wellbeing after her purchase was flagged on Friday night.

Fellow campaigners at pro-Euthanasia group Exit International said officers staged a "raid" on the house but failed to find the lethal drugs.

Professor Henry, a former university professor of English medieval culture, is said to have left a suicide note explaining that she was about to take her own life and adding that the decision was "wholly" hers.

Dr Philip Nitschke, the founder of Exit International, criticised police and said authorities should recognise it was not always appropriate to intervene in such cases.

Dr Nitschke, who was the first first physician in the world to administer a legal, lethal, voluntary injection, pointed out that suicide is not illegal in the UK.

He said that Professor Henry had been given the go-ahead to travel to Switzerland for an assisted suicide but had wanted to end her life in her own home.

He tweeted a picture of himself with Professor Henry alongside her front door after it was forced open by police.

A spokesman for police confirmed they had forced the door on a welfare check visit on April 15 - five days before Professor Henry's death.