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Artist Punished for Helping Wife Die

March 27, 1992

NEWCASTLE, Australia (AP) _ A 62-year-old artist who survived a suicide pact with his wife was sentenced Friday to 200 hours of community service.

Neil Vincent Savage pleaded guilty in Newcastle District Court to aiding the suicide of Fay Savage, also 62, last July 7. She died after drinking a lethal cocktail of whiskey and drugs.

After watching his wife slump unconscious, Savage put a plastic bag over her head and and drank the mixture himself, the court heard at a hearing last October.

But he vomited while unconscious, preventing his death. His first words on being awakened by police were ″Oh God, I’m still alive,″ the court heard.

Savage said he was diagnosed as having chronic lymphatic leukemia. His wife had incurable bowel cancer that had spread to her lymph nodes.

Judge David Freeman said his sentencing took into account Savage’s charitable works dating back to 1970. Savage recently set up a foundation named for his wife to raise money for a camp for children suffering from leukemia.

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