Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Husband survived suicide pact, wife's inquest hears

A husband survived a suicide pact in which his wife died, ending her suffering from illness, an inquest has heard.

Kenneth Brown cared for his wife Helen, 71, who suffered from a long-term depressive illness and the eye-condition nystagmus.

The couple, of Liss, Hampshire, agreed to take their lives together after she made several unsuccessful attempts.

Portsmouth coroner David Horsley recorded a narrative verdict.

As the couple spoke about killing themselves at the same time, Mr Brown was not prosecuted for aiding a suicide.

Det Sgt Glyn White, of Hampshire Police, said the Browns visited known suicide spots such as Beachy Head but were concerned about the impact on other people.

'Dazed condition'

On 8 November last year, they took a cocktail of drugs at their home and created noxious fumes.

They wrote suicide letters and left a voicemail message for family.

Emergency services found Mr Brown in a dazed condition.

His wife died in the bath. Post-mortem tests showed the cause of death as carbon monoxide poisoning.

Mr Brown was arrested but was released without charge.

Mr Horsley recorded a narrative verdict that Mrs Brown died as a willing participant in a suicide pact.

He said: "She was an intelligent lady and she could see what was happening to her and I can quite understand why she might not want to her life to go on.

"I can only say how deeply sorry I am."