Shame over a liaison led to former Bodmin police officer Gail Crocker's suicide
A FORMER Bodmin police officer took her own life after her husband learnt she'd had a relationship with a colleague.
The body of PC Gail Crocker, who lived in St Stephen, was found in the boot of her white Audi TT on June 15 at a remote car park in Lanjeth, days after the affair came to light.
On Monday, Truro Coroner's Court heard that while husband Peter was on a business trip in London he received a text message from his wife, which she intended to send to a male colleague with whom she had been that evening.
The message, which was read aloud to the court, said: "Thank you for a wonderful evening, only wish we could do this more often."
When Mr Crocker returned home the following day his wife, 46, told him she was sorry and described the rendezvous as a "one-off".
In a statement which was read to the court Mr Crocker said: "I got out [of the car] and she was in floods of tears saying she was sorry. She told me it was a one-off and had never done it before."
The following day the couple argued before Mr Crocker left the house.
"She went on and on again," Mr Crocker said. "My work phone rang.
"I was so angry I slammed it into the ground."
Mr Crocker went to buy a new phone from a supermarket but when he returned to the house his wife had gone, the court was told.
"I got home and Gail was not there and neither was her car," he said.
Concerned for her welfare, Mr Crocker contacted his wife's sergeant at Bodmin Police Station who told him she had called in sick for her shift that afternoon.
"I didn't sleep at all. I didn't hear from Gail during the night," Mr Crocker said.
The following morning David Rendell and his wife, close friends of the Crockers, recognised Gail's car in the car park at Lanjeth as they headed off to walk their dog on the clay trails, and Mr Rendell called Mr Crocker, who met them there.
Mr Crocker described in his statement opening the boot of the car and discovering his wife's body. Beside her was an empty sleeping pill bottle and suicide notes she had written to him and their two grown-up daughters, he said.
Consultant pathologist Ilona Hopkins recorded the cause of death as an overdose of diphenhydramine, an antihistamine, and the painkiller tramadol.
Returning a verdict of suicide, Coroner for Cornwall Emma Carlyon said she was satisfied Mrs Crocker's death resulted from a deliberate act to take her own life.
Mrs Crocker trained as a Police Community Support Officer in Truro in 2003 and qualified as a police constable in 2007.
"She was a people person," Mr Crocker said. "She would speak to anyone about anything. Being a PCSO was her perfect job."
The couple, who had been together for more than 30 years, met in Plymouth when she was 15 and he was 17.
"She was my life," Mr Crocker said. "We had plans. Nothing was worth her taking her life.
"I'm lost without her."