Raymond and Margaret Sutton killed their severely disabled son Matthew a few days before his 29th birthday. He was born with no eyes, a misshapen nose, a cleft lip and palate and the mental capacity of a four year old child.
It was the day before he was due to go into hospital for yet another operation which would leave him deaf and without a sense of taste. Sound and taste were the only two senses left to Matthew and he spent many hours listening to music. His parents had spent 29 years of their life watching their son suffer and his rare condition worsen, and this news was the last straw.
In 2001, Mrs Sutton gave her son a sedative before her husband "released Matthew from this world" with "the act that killed him." What that act was, isn't clear.
They said that Matthew was already dead when they found him but they lied. Police were suspicious and the couple finally admitted to killing him and in 2007, they were found guilty of manslaughter and each given a five year good behaviour bond.
Justice Graham Barr said there was no community interest in seeing the couple jailed and "nothing the court can do by way of sentence can add to their suffering."
Yesterday, the bodies of the couple, both in their late 60s, were found in their Sydney home. Police said there were no suspicious circumstances.