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Bail for assisted suicide suspect

A man who allegedly took part in a heroin suicide pact and helped his girlfriend die of a drug overdose has been granted bail.

John Christopher Walmsley, 33, faces charges of aiding and abetting suicide and supplying a drug of dependence. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Police allege Walmsley and his 25-year-old girlfriend formed a pact to kill themselves in late December last year.

Walmsley allegedly bought six doses of heroin, each weighing about 0.25g, and the couple injected themselves with the drug.

The woman died, leaving behind a young daughter, but Walmsley survived and has been in custody since his arrest in April.

The ACT Supreme Court heard yesterday Walmsley's girlfriend had not been a drug addict but had been abusing alcohol when she met the man at Alcoholics Anonymous.


The court was told Walmsley had been offered a bed at a supervised home run by Corrective Services and was willing to abide by strict bail conditions if released.

A police informant had previously told the court Walmsley came to Canberra a year ago to score drugs and did not have a fixed address.

He was said to have no ties to the territory and was wanted in NSW on fraud charges.

The prosecution argued the man was also on a psychiatric treatment order and had threatened to harm himself and commit suicide when arrested. He had also allegedly expressed anger towards witnesses in the matter.

Walmsley's lawyer told the court his client had been in custody for five months and was going through a methadone program at the Alexander Maconochie Centre.

He was also seeing a psychiatrist regularly.

Justice Richard Refshauge said the man's trial was set down for February to May 2013 and Walmsley would have been in custody for nearly two years if not granted bail before the trial began.

He said he was satisfied that it was appropriate to grant bail and released Walmsley on a string of conditions, including an order not to approach 18 witnesses, a 10pm curfew, reporting to police three times a week and an order to continue his mental health treatment.