Fisher inquest: Husband smothered sick wife before taking overdose
An elderly man smothered his sick wife before taking an overdose, an inquest has heard.
Kenneth Fisher, 76, left notes saying he could no longer care for Edna, 74, but did not want her to go into a home.
Their bodies were discovered in the bedroom of their Washington bungalow by carers on a routine visit.
Coroner Derek Winter recorded a verdict of unlawful killing in the case of Mrs Fisher and said Mr Fisher had killed himself.
The couple, who had been married for almost 50 years, had reached a point of "mutual despair" and were both aware of each other's struggles, he said.
Mrs Fisher, who had Parkinson's disease and dementia, had recently been in hospital where her health had rapidly deteriorated.
Despite help from family members and carers who visited the house, Sunderland Coroner's Court heard her husband was still left struggling to cope.
Pathologist Dr Mark Egan said he had concluded Mrs Fisher had been smothered and that Mr Fisher had died from taking an overdose of drugs that had been prescribed to her.
The couple's family said their deaths were "heart-breaking".
"Over the last 20 years Mum suffered from Parkinson's and, in her later years, dementia," a family statement said.
"During this time, Dad lovingly cared for Mum 24 hours a day.
"Mum and Dad are sadly missed and are always, and will always be, in our thoughts."