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Wife's suicide days after husband died

An elderly woman committed suicide just days after the death of her husband, an inquest heard.


Ann Goodswen, from Norton Canes, died on August 6 after taking an overdose at her home, before being found by her son.

The 70-year-old had recently been hit with the loss of her husband, who died at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester.

An inquest at the South Staffordshire Coroners Court heard that she had suffered with depression, anxiety and panic attacks in the past and was prescribed various medication by doctors of which she was prescribed 90 tablets a month.

A toxicology report after her death found that the level of a drug in her blood was 2.8 miligrams, around five times the recommended daily dosage for someone with a tolerance to the drug.

A report from her doctor read out by coroner Andrew Haigh said: "It was sad news indeed for us to be informed she was found dead.

"I had spoke to her over the phone a few days before and she seemed distressed as she said her husband had died that morning.

"She did not want to go too much into it and said she had her family with her for support.

"I had offered to refer her for counselling but she said she would let me know and for the moment she didn't want any.

"She made no mention of suicidal thoughts and had no past record with self harm so I said we would speak again in a weeks time."

Police who attended the home of Mrs Goodswen initially believed that she had been found dead on the morning of August 6 by her son.

However, sergeant Carolyn Higgins, who gave evidence at the inquest, said that she later found out that the body was discovered the previous night. Her son told sergeant Higgins that he had found her the night before but due to his intoxicated state, felt 'too ashamed' to call the police and report the death.

Coroner Andrew Haigh recorded a verdict of suicide and said: "I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that she has intended to kill herself and was affected by her mental health at the time."

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