Praze-an-Beeble man hanged himself days after wife died
A "devoted" husband killed himself at home within two days of the death of his wife as her body lay on their bed, an inquest heard.
Grief-stricken Kenneth Graham Jones, 77, a retired computer programmer, was found by police, hanging from a chimney stack on the end gable of the couple's secluded cottage in Cornwall.
A note he had left on the back doorstep led police to the body of Elizabeth, 94, lying in their bedroom under a blanket. They had been married for 42 years.
The hearing at Truro heard yesterday that next to Mrs Jones's body her husband had left a note addressed to the coroner.
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It read: "I do not wish to live without my dear wife and am about to kill myself."
Mrs Jones, who had been suffering from respiratory problems, died at the couple's cottage at Crowan, Praze-an-Beeble, near Camborne, on May 30 this year in the presence of her doctor.
The following day Mr Jones registered her death – it was the last time he was known to be alive.
A post-mortem examination confirmed the cause of death as hanging – toxicology detected no alcohol or drugs in his system.
The court heard police were alerted on June 2 after Kyle Tucker, a close friend of Mr Jones living in Middlesex, telephoned them to report he had received a letter from him that day stating his intention to commit suicide.
When police arrived at around 6.15pm they discovered the dead man.
Mr Jones had used a ladder to climb up the side of the house before tying a nylon rope around the chimney stack with which to hang himself, the court heard.
Detective Constable Gail Windsor said there was no evidence of any third-party involvement in the death.
She said: "Kenneth and Elizabeth were a loving couple who were devoted to each other by all accounts.
"The cottage was in a very secluded spot surrounded by trees so no one would have spotted him until officers arrived at the scene."
She said the couple's Vauxhall Astra was later discovered in the garage and an attempt had been made to attach a pipe to the exhaust.
Dr Emma Carlyon, coroner, said: "I accept the evidence from the pathologist and the police and find that Mr Jones carried out a deliberate act with the intention of taking his own life.
"All other possible explanations have been ruled out and I find Mr Jones killed himself."