Turing may not have topped himself -

Professor Jack Copeland, who is penning a biography of Alan Turing, claims that the father of the computer might not have killed himself after all.

He thinks that evidence gathered after the death of the scientist from cyanide poisoning at the age of 41 in 1954 was "overlooked."

Turing was found dead with a half eaten apple beside his bed which was thought to have been laced with cyanide.

However Copeland said that the Apple was never tested for cyanide, it was just assumed that it was on it.

He said that the inquest was conducted in a very superficial way and the coroner didn't really investigate the evidence at all.

The Coroner just seemed to have cobbled together his conclusion based on statements in newspapers at the time.

The coroner in Turing's death case ruled he committed suicide "while the balance of his mind was disturbed", adding: "In a man of his type, one never knows what his mental processes are going to do next."

Turing was found guilty of gross indecency with another man in 1952 and to avoid going to prison agreed to receive injections of oestrogen for a year, which were intended to reduce his libido.

Copeland, who is a Professor at the University of Canterbury Christchurch in New Zealand said medical evidence suggested Turing died from inhaling cyanide rather than drinking or ingesting it.

Turing used cyanide in his amateur experiments.

Copeland said Turing had shown no signs of being depressed about anything and was generally pretty cheery about life. His friends said he was not too concerned about his conviction either.

Of course Copeland is going against the Turing legend which is particularly powerful. Namely that after saving the British from the Germans, Turing was destroyed by the anti-gay establishment and topped himself.