Suicide verdicts recorded at inquest into death of pensioners
*A warning that this story contains references of suicide and information which some readers may find upsetting
Verdicts of suicide have been recorded at the inquest of an elderly couple from Glen Vine who were found dead in their garage.
At Douglas Courthouse today (2 June) Coroner of Inquests Jayne Hughes said their deaths, at the start of the year, were part of a ‘deliberate and long considered process’.
The bodies of Richard and Stella Evans, who lived at the Old Motor Museum, were found on 3 January; they’d died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Two neighbours, who’d entered their locked home after concerns for their welfare, told the court they’d found signage – written by Mr Evans – which advised the reader to contact his advocate.
Another sign read: “You are looking in the wrong room.”
The couple’s bodies were found in a cupboard in the garage where retired engineer Mr Evans – who was 87-years-old - kept his vintage car collection.
The neighbours told the court they believed Mrs Evans – who was 85 – had issues with her memory with one adding that Mr Evans had said: “When the time comes we’re going off to Switzerland.”
A friend of Mr Evans said the couple had become increasingly reclusive and were very ‘distrustful’ of doctors adding that he’d mentioned the possibility of suicide to him over the years.
He added that they'd become ‘very frightened of Covid’ and didn’t allow anyone in their house as they were focussed on not contracting the virus.
Letters, recovered from the home, written by Mr Evans revealed a plan - of how they wished to end their lives - which had been in place ‘for over 50 years’.
Correspondence detailed how the husband and wife had thought it ‘wise’ not to tell anyone about it fearing ‘do-gooders’ would stop them.
A letter signed by Mrs Evans stated: “This was a joint decision (longstanding). For us there is no other option.”
Newspaper clippings, concerning euthanasia in Switzerland, were also recovered as well as a drawing from 2010 which showed a scene the Coroner of Inquests described as bearing a ‘striking resemblance’ to that found by the neighbours, and police officers, who attended their home.
Medical records showed Mrs Evans had last seen a doctor in 2019 and Mr Evans in 1992 – both had declined seasonal flu and Covid vaccinations and neither had involvement with mental health services.
Describing the Evans’ as a ‘solitary couple’ who were ‘leading a reclusive lifestyle’ Mrs Hughes said they’d died on either 2 or 3 of January.
“Both were fearful of Covid and maintained their own lockdown after national restrictions lifted,” she added.
Referencing the letters written by the couple she added there was a ‘mutually agreed longstanding intention to end their lives when the time came’.
If you’ve been affected by any of the issues in this story there are details of local organisations that provide advice and support HERE.