HELSINKI — A Danish court on Monday convicted a 78-year-old man of killing his ailing wife with sleeping pills, but gave him a suspended sentence.

The Court of Helsingoer found the man guilty of “killing on request” and noted that euthanasia is not legal in Denmark and is punishable by up to three years in prison.

It said the woman’s injuries and condition were mitigating circumstances in giving the man a suspended sentence and noted that he had acknowledged helping her end her life in what he described as a mercy killing.

Neither the man nor his 72-year-old wife was named.

The man had confessed to finally yielding in April to frequent requests from the wife “he had loved for 50 years” to help her end her days, by giving her 100 sleeping pills one evening. He told the court he did not regret his actions.

Court documents stated that the wife had fallen badly a few months previously and damaged her cervical vertebrae causing paralysis in her arms. Doctors at a clinic where she was being treated had said they could not treat her condition, local media reported.

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This story has been corrected to change the wife’s age to 72.