Police are set to investigate a Birmingham journalist's claims that she killed a relative by administering a lethal dose of morphine.
Thirty years after she helped Eileen O'Sullivan, a great aunt who brought her up in Devon, former Birmingham Post columnist Maureen Messent admitted to the mercy killing in an article criticising the Government's plans to allow patients to give friends or relatives power of attorney.
Ms Messent, who described the incident in The Post's sister paper the Birmingham Mail, has no regrets over the death which took place in the late 1960s.
Ms O'Sullivan was terminally ill with lung cancer and had great difficulty breathing, so when the family's doctor left a bottle of morphine to help relieve her pain, Ms Messent claimed she "knew what had to be done".
West Midlands Police yesterday said no crime had been reported to its officers but the matter had been referred to colleagues in Cornwall and Devon constabulary, where the incident is said to have happened.
Last night Sgt Alan Mobbs of Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed officers were looking into the circumstances surrounding Ms O'Sullivan's death.
He said: "At this stage we're not ruling out bringing her in for questioning, we may also need to speak to her friends, family and people who know her professionally as well.
"If there is a suggestion that someone has died, and not as a result of natural causes, then that would be investigated as a murder.
"It is also an offence to help someone to die in this country, but if it was pre-meditated and done without permission, that is murder."
Ms Messent, who lives in Balsall Heath, said yesterday: 'Never for one minute have I regretted it. She didn't look like Eileen any more. I just helped her out of life.
'She was an old lady whom I loved dearly. She brought up my brothers and myself. She brought up my mother and various other odd relatives because my whole family have been afflicted by alcohol."
The journalist, who was convent-educated in Teignmouth, Cornwall, added: "I felt absolutely no remorse about my great aunt. What I did, I did - and I will still go to my God saying: 'Yes, I did it.'"