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Calverley couple found dead had planned suicide pact
A married couple found dead in their cottage planned a suicide pact after facing a criminal investigation, an inquest heard yesterday.
Leeds Coroner’s Court heard Brian Hainsworth, 64, and his wife Sharon, 57, made a bid to kill themselves through carbon monoxide poisoning at their home in Woodhall Road, Calverley, but Mr Hainsworth took ‘secondary action’ to hang himself when he regained consciousness and found his wife dead.
Detective Constable Tom Pearson said the pair had been the subject of a police investigation, but had discovered no action would be taken against them before their bodies were found at 8.36am on August 3 last year.
The inquest heard Mrs Hainsworth’s son Ben Foster and a friend, Dawn Hill, found a sign on the couple’s front door telling them to call police when they visited the rented cottage after becoming concerned because they hadn’t replied to text messages or phone calls. When Miss Hill opened the door she found Mr Hainsworth’s body.
She also discovered a note on a door inside the property warning them not to enter because of the presence of carbon monoxide, the court was told.
Mrs Hainsworth’s body was found on a sofa in a room to the rear of the house, where a barbecue had been placed. Paramedics and the fire service were called and the couple were pronounced dead at the scene.
Forensic pathologist Dr Charles Wilson said the cause of Mr Hainsworth’s death was hanging, while Mrs Hainsworth died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning and heart disease.
A post-mortem examination found both had alcohol in their blood and were about twice the legal drink-drive limit at the time of their death. They had also taken some medication.
Coroner David Hinchliff said it was believed “because they had a number of issues and problems they made an agreement to end their lives and the method adopted was to take medication in high quantities, combined with alcohol, and to bring in carbon monoxide through a mobile barbecue kit.
“What appears to have happened is this was very successful in the case of Mrs Hainsworth but not for her husband, who regained consciousness.
“Realising his desire hadn’t been fulfilled, he has taken the secondary action of hanging himself to fulfil their joint wish.”
It is believed the investigation was in connection with a minor matter.
The Coroner said, although the couple knew it had been dropped, they had “gone through that barrier of concern and distress” at the time of their death.