Depressed Tring widower found hanged a month after wife’s death, inquest hears

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A 76-year-old man killed himself a month after his wife of 42 years died of cancer, an inquest heard today.

A doctor who had been seeing John Baldwin in the run up to his death said he and wife Enid had been ‘like Siamese twins joined at the heart’.

Coroner Edward Thomas said: “He and his wife were obviously very close to one another.”

The pair, both retired, had gone on cruises together and were particularly fond of going to Malta, which they visited two or three times a year, the inquest heard.

But Herts Coroners Court was told that John, who died on March 13, became depressed after his wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Enid had suffered from breast cancer 15 years ago, but made a full recovery. Then it was discovered that the cancer had returned and spread to her bones.

She died of secondary bone cancer on February 17 this year after spending her final days in the Northchurch-based Hospice of St Francis.

John’s doctors and support workers had differing views on how well he was coping, the inquest heard.

One reported that he had lost a lot of weight by February 13, when 74-year-old Enid was in the hospice.

But another reported that after her death, John said: “I am gong to carry on. That’s what my wife would want me to do.”

The inquest heard that he refused bereavement counselling from the hospice, saying he ‘did not think it was necessary’.

A support worker said John was well-supported by his family after they met at Enid’s funeral on March 6.

His niece Jacqueline Collins, who was at the inquest with brother Michael, phoned police after going to visit him seven days later.

She was concerned that his curtains and blinds were still drawn and a newspaper had been left sticking out of the letterbox.

After police helped her get into the house in Dunston Hill, Tring, they found John’s body.

Verdict: He took his own life after the death of his wife.