Saxlingham Nethergate couple 'had suicide pact'

A man who took his own life at the same time as his wife killed herself, told a friend years earlier they had a "suicide pact", an inquest has heard.

Reginald Williams, 72, and his wife Susan, 66, wrote to friends saying they would be found dead at their Norfolk home.

The Norwich inquest heard Mr Williams told one friend neither of them wanted to be "a burden on society".

Coroner Jacqueline Lake concluded both took their own lives on 9 January.

'Suicide pact'

In a statement read to the court, family friend June Jackson recalled a comment Mr Williams had made 30 years ago.

"Reginald told me they had this suicide pact, that when they got older they didn't want to go into a nursing home or to be a burden on society, but would end their lives," she said.

The hearing was told the couple moved from Great Clacton, Essex, to Saxlingham Nethergate four years ago.

In her statement Mrs Jackson said Susan Williams had increasingly suffered with diabetes while her husband had undergone an operation some years before "that didn't go well".

Describing a letter she received in January, she said: "From reading the first few lines I knew that they had killed themselves.

"The letter said that by the time you are reading this, they would be gone."

Post-mortem examinations found the couple had died of an overdose.

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