Daughter who took her father to Dignitas speaks of relief as CPS

A daughter who took her father to Dignitas has spoken of her relief as the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) finally ended her seven-month wait by saying she won’t be charged.The former nurse, Sandra Holmes, 66, took her 93-year-old father John Lenton from his care home to the assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland in October last year.After spending £15,000 on the assisted suicide, she had to wait to find out whether she would be prosecuted, along with her son Scott, 40, who also travelled to Switzerland.Speaking after the CPS decision not to proceed with her case she said: “The whole family is greatly relieved that we are finally able to draw a line under this now, and although we never expected to be prosecuted, it’s nice to know for definite that we won’t be.”The police have been very supportive of us and we’ve also had massive support on social media and in the community ever since sharing dad’s story. “The more we bring this out into the open, the more chance we have of hopefully getting the law changed.”Sandra said she was willing to go to prison and said she new it might come to that.One British person travels overseas for assisted suicide every eight days, according to Dignity in Dying, a group that campaigns to legalise suicide.It says 37 Britons died at Digitas and a further nine died at Life Circle, in Basil, over 2017.Between 1 April 2009 and 31 January 2018 there were 138 cases referred to the CPS by the police and recorded as assisted suicide.During the same time period three referrals led to prosecutions.Mr Lenton was a veteran of the South Wales Borderers and served in the Parchute Regiment of the British Army.During World War Two he fought in Italy, Algeria, Tunisia, France, Greece, Palestine and Egypt. His health declined following the death of wife in 2011, and he required a permanent catheter following a hernia operation that year. He was later diagnosed with eye disorder dry macular degeneration, which was causing him to go blind.In Spring 2017, he asked his daughter if she would accompany him to Dignitas – leading to seven months of planning, during which John moved into a care home.Mr Lenton’s children told carers they were taking John on holiday for five days in the UK after he was given the all-clear to travel.They then hired a car to get to the airport so they wouldn’t be followed or tracked by police as they could have been stopped or arrested before even setting foot on the plane.Once they arrived in Switzerland, doctors assessed John to see if he had sufficient mental function to go through with the suicide.Sandra said her father looked “ten years younger” after arriving at the clinic because the weight had “gone from his shoulders”.On October 25, they took John on his final journey to the clinic where he was given a lethal powdered drug dissolved in a glass of water. He died within 15 minutes of consuming the drug.A CPS spokesman said: “We considered the circumstances of the case in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and taking account of the relevant CPS legal guidance. “In fact, perfect strangers have even come up to me in the street saying they admire what we did, I’ve not had one negative reaction.”Everyone is supportive of the right to die.”One thing that I wanted to come out of dad’s death was to get people talking about this and open the topic up for discussion. Sandra Holmes and her son Scott travelled to Switzerland to help John Lenton end his life Sandra Holmes and her son Scott travelled to Switzerland to help John Lenton end his lifeCredit: IAN COOPER/Daily Post Wales John Lenton was a veteran of the British Army and during World War Two he fought in Italy, Algeria, Tunisia, France, Greece, Palestine and EgyptCredit: Sandra Holmes/UGC/ Daily Post Wales He wore two hearing aids and, in 2017, he lost control of his bowels. The active war hero was then diagnosed with Parkinson’s and he suffered several falls that resulted in trips to the hospital. John Lenton was a veteran of the British Army and during World War Two he fought in Italy, Algeria, Tunisia, France, Greece, Palestine and Egypt “We concluded a prosecution is not in the public interest and therefore no charges have been authorised.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more