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Killer Donald Neilson - who murdered an East Lancashire postmaster - told doctors he didn't want to live
Serial killer Donald Neilson, who murdered an East Lancashire postmaster, had asked prison staff not to keep him alive if his health deteriorated, an inquest has heard.
The 75-year-old, known as the Black Panther after his 1970s murder spree, was suffering from the irreversible muscle-wasting condition motor neurone disease.
He died on December 18 after being transferred from Norwich Prison to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, suffering from a chest infection and pneumonia.
The inquest in Norwich heard Neilson had been a “challenging and uncooperative” patient who had asked medics not to resuscitate him should he ever suffer a cardiac arrest.
A jury then returned a verdict that Neilson died of natural causes. The inquest heard that motor neurone sufferers are particularly vulnerable to chest conditions.
Neilson had been moved to Norwich Prison from Full Sutton in East Yorkshire, after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2009.
He was given four life sentences in 1975 and was one of a small group of notorious prisoners who were told they would spend the rest of their lives behind bars.
The jobbing builder kidnapped 17-year-old Lesley Whittle from her home in Shropshire, with a ransom demand for £50,000.
Her body was later found in an underground drain.
Neilson also shot three sub-postmasters dead in armed robberies between February and November 1974.
Those victims included Derek Astin, in Baxenden. He was also responsible for about 400 burglaries during a 10-year criminal career and was dubbed ‘The Black Panther’ as a result of of his dark clothing and powerful physique.