OAP bailed on wife murder charge killed himself
Thursday 06 January 2011
A depressed 79-year-old man charged with murder after unlawfully killing his sick wife committed suicide after being granted bail by a court, an inquest heard today.
Alan Thomas gave Winifred Thomas, 77, tablets to make her feel drowsy before pushing her head under water in the bath at the family home.
Retired chartered building surveyor Thomas waited until he was certain she was dead before calling police and telling an operator: "I've just helped my wife to die."
The inquest heard that housewife Mrs Thomas had been suffering from arthritis and was unable to use her hands.
Police were told by Thomas that she had attempted suicide several times as she became frustrated at her increasing inability to look after herself.
Thomas told officers: "You don't know what it's like. I even had to change her sanitary towels. Imagine that." He added: "I wanted to be certain that she wanted to end her life.
"It's not something to enter into lightly. I knew once she had got into the bath that she would not be able to get out and I wouldn't be able to get her out. She knew that as well."
Emergency services arrived at the couple's home in Deanwood Drive, Rainham, Kent, on May 9 last year and found Mrs Thomas lying face up in the bath.
In a statement read at County Hall, Maidstone, Pc Sarah Lambert said Thomas was sitting in a chair clearly upset with his hands shaking.
"He said he loved her," the officer said.
A post-mortem examination carried out at the Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham by Dr Robert Chapman showed no evidence of acute natural disease that would have contributed to her death.
Bruises found on Mrs Thomas's head could have been caused by her being forcibly pushed under the water, the pathologist added. The cause of death was confirmed as drowning.
Thomas, who had two sons with his wife, was arrested on suspicion of murder and confirmed that he had pushed his wife's head under the water.
Detective Chief Inspector David Chewter, of Kent Police's major crime department, said: "During interview he confirmed that account both that day and the next day.
"He said he had lifted her legs up to help lie her flat in the bath." No-one else was present at the couple's home when she drowned, he added.
Mr Chewter said Thomas said he had been happy to continue caring for his wife but that she was depressed at being unable to function properly.
Thomas was charged with murder and appeared at Medway Magistrates' Court.
On May 13, he appeared at Crown Court where he was granted conditional bail and later he was allowed to return home when his conditions were varied.
Coroner Roger Sykes said he was satisfied Mrs Thomas was unlawfully killed and that her husband took his own life.
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
- 1 'Cheeky' Nando's under fire for apparently coming onto a customer on Twitter
- 2 Saudi Arabia mosque bombing: Two volunteer security guards hailed as heroes for stopping Isis suicide bomber reaching worshippers
- 3 Playboy model April Summers speaks out about being a victim of revenge porn
- 4 There is something wrong but very right about this Bible illustration
- 5 iPhone 'effective power' text: how to be safe from iOS bug that lets people crash your phone