Sidney Kilmartin, the Windham man who was convicted of sending cyanide to a suicidal Englishman who used the chemical to kill himself, was sentenced Tuesday to 25 years in prison.

The case has been in federal court for more than four years and the most serious charge he faced was “mailing injurious articles resulting in death.” U.S. District Judge John Woodcock had ruled earlier that Woodcock could have been sentenced to life in prison.

But Tuesday, Woodcock said he was troubled sending Kilmartin, 57, to prison for that long of a term.

“Life without any hope is quite a sentence to impose on anyone,” Woodcock said, even though he said Kilmartin committed his crimes “in a moral black hole” and “an appalling moral vacuum.”

Kilmartin has a history of severe mental illness and in 2012 he joined online chat rooms for people contemplating suicide. He obtained cyanide by posing as a goldsmith. The substance is used in jewelry making, but its distribution is supposed to be tightly controlled. 

In the chat rooms, Kilmartin offered to sell cyanide, but sent epsom salts. One “customer,” Andrew Denton of Hull, England, complained and reported Kilmartin to the FBI. Then Kilmartin agreed to send Denton real cyanide, and Denton took the substance and died.

Sidney Kilmartin

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