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Man found hanged ahead of Net suicide pact trial

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A man due to stand trial for assisting the suicide of a man he met through a Net site has been found hanged.

Louis Gillies, 36, was due to stand trial this week accused of assisting the suicide of Michael Gooden, 35, who flung himself to his death last June after the pair allegedly formed a suicide pact after meeting through the newsgroup alt.suicide.holidays.

After exchanging messages on the group, the two met in a pub near Beachy Head, East Sussex (a notorious suicide spot) to share a "last supper".

Gillies reportedly backed out of following Gooden, of south London, to his death after receiving a call from a friend who succeeded in talking him out of his plan to take his life.

The circumstances of Gooden's death, and messages posted by Gillies on the Net following his friend's suicide led to charges that Gillies had aided and abetted his friend's suicide.

Gillies was due to face those charges in Lewes Crown Court this week.

When Gillies failed to appear in court, Glasgow police yesterday visited his home in the city's Kelvingrove area where they found him hanged. A suicide note was found at the scene, according to reports by the Glasgow Evening Times.

Judge Anthony Scott-Gall, who was due to preside over the trial, said: "It's a very bleak ending to a very bleak case." ®

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