Suffolk couple researched suicide pact on internet

An elderly couple from Suffolk took their own lives after researching suicide on the internet, an inquest has found.

The bodies of John Lawrenson, 80, and his wife Caroline, 70, were found in bed at home in Great Waldingfield, near Sudbury, on 23 April.

The couple had been married for 47 years, the Bury St Edmunds inquest heard.

They had taken overdoses of a drug said to have purchased in South America.

Mrs Lawrenson had recently been diagnosed with cancer with a "relatively short life expectancy". Mr Lawrenson had left a note saying: "I cannot live without her."

'Planned suicide'

Police who searched their home found a carefully researched dossier on planned suicide, the inquest was told.

Coroner Peter Dean said the pair had taken overdoses of a drug purchased from a veterinarian.

He added: "Mr Lawrenson explained in a letter that he could not live without his wife and they had started to research planned suicide on the internet.

"It was a very well organised suicide. Both left notes and the handwriting was analysed to ensure it was their own."

Mr Dean recorded a verdict that the couple took their own lives.

He added: "It is clear they both understood the consequences of their actions.

"Our thoughts are very much with their family and all those close to them in these very sad circumstances."

The couple were well known in the village, having served on church committees.

Mr Lawrenson was a former general manager at Reuters international news agency and had also founded a publishing company. Mrs Lawrenson was a retired secretary.

They leave two adult children.

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