Devoted couple died in 'suicide pact' as one didn't want to stay without the other

Devoted couple died in 'suicide pact' as one didn't want to stay without the other

The Mirror - UK News·2021-06-24 17:21

Peter White, 72, and wife Diana, 74, were discovered to have died of a drug overdose after leaving a note saying they were 'determined not to carry on in this life'

Tributes have been paid to a loving couple who died in a 'suicide pact' at their retirement village.

Peter White, 72, and his wife Diana, 74, were found dead in their flat at the sheltered housing scheme in January.

They were discovered to have died of a drug overdose after leaving a note saying they were 'determined not to carry on in this life.'

At an inquest into their deaths earlier this month a coroner ruled they both deliberately took their own lives and had done so 'jointly', the MEN reports.

A family member has now spoken of how the 'insular' couple from Trafford 'led a pure life' and ultimately 'didn't want to go without each other."

Peter's niece Deborah Allen, who along with brother Christopher is one of the couple's closest surviving relatives, said they were very 'insular' and 'kept themselves to themselves' but were also totally devoted to each other.

"They were very quiet people," said Deborah, whose late father Paul, who died around 12 years ago, was Peter's brother.

"They kept themselves to themselves really. But they were lovely people and wouldn't do anyone any harm.

"They were very insular. I think that says a lot about them. But they were very, very close and totally devoted to each other, that always came through.

"Ultimately they led a very pure life. They were very much into saving the environment.

"So much so they made it clear they did not want to have a funeral for environmental reasons. They became vegan many years ago.

"The last time I saw them was a long, long time ago. But we just have the feeling that they were taken too soon."

Deborah, 48, who lives in Stoke-On-Trent, said the circumstances of their death had left their family in shock.

"It was a shock. It really was" she said. "And of course there was sadness.

"We weren't told initially how they had died and when we did find out it was very close to the anniversary of my dad's death, so it brought a lot of emotion to the surface.

"But at least we know they are now at peace."

"We know that Peter had had a stroke, and his dad had multiple strokes and he had seen the impact they had," she added.

"And I believe they didn't want to go without each other."

A joint inquest into Mr and Mrs White's deaths was held at South Manchester Coroner's Court in Stockport on June 14.

The hearing was told the couple's bodies were discovered at their flat at Rostherne Court in Altrincham on Monday January 4 this year.

The couple were last spoken to by the scheme's manager on December 18 last year and she said "they both seemed fine."

However, a neighbour became concerned when he didn't hear any noise from the flat over the Christmas period and a card remained unmoved in the letterbox.

He informed staff who then used the master key to access their flat on January 4 with their bodies being found in the bed in the master bedroom.

Their bodies may have been there "for some time", the inquest was told.

A note was found containing both their names which said they were "determined not to carry on in this life".

Post-mortem exams found they both died of an overdose of a mix of drugs.

A police investigation found no suspicious circumstances or evidence of third party involvement.

Detective Inspector Matthew Gregory, who was in charge of the investigation, said in a statement that there was "no evidence they were anything other than a loving couple" and that there was "no evidence that this anything other than a suicide pact or a joint act both were a party to."

Area Coroner Chris Morris recorded conclusions of suicide in both cases.

He said: "It seems fitting to undertake the inquests into the deaths of Mr and Mrs White jointly, in reflection of the manner in which they both lived their lives and they died.

"As their neighbour said in their statement, they very much kept themselves to themselves."

He added they had brought about their deaths through their own actions but did so "jointly" and "by consensus".

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