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The death of Dianne Brimble is a horrible messy tragedy.

Dianne was a kind and likeable woman who lived a reasonably quiet life, and who was never either exciting or attractive by contemporary standards.

She went on a P&O cruise in 2002, and seems to have decided that for once in her life, she was going to break all the rules. Breaking the rules included taking illegal drugs, and having sex with strangers. Her behaviour on the cruise was sordid and degrading.

It is no wonder her family and friends do not want her remembered in this way.

It is also clear that some of the men who ‘befriended’ her on the Pacific Sun are pigs, users and cowards of the first rank.

But the desire to have someone to blame for her death, and the shame of her actions prior to her death, should not be allowed to cloud the fact that no one forced Dianne Brimble to do the things she did on that cruise.

She was an adult. She made choices to behave in ways that, however out of character for her, contributed to her death. This is sad, a terrible way to end her life. But that in itself does not make it OK to blame someone else for her death.

So far, the jury has agreed on a verdict of one of two charges against Mark Wilhelm. The two charges are supplying a prohibited drug, and manslaughter.

It doesn’t take much thought to work out which one the jury is likely to have agreed on. If I am right, then that verdict is reasonable and fair. A guilty verdict on the other charge might be more difficult to justify.

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