Page last updated at 17:38 GMT, Monday, 1 February 2010

'Suicide pact' man dies in sleep

Dr Willie Stanton
Dr Stanton was suffering from terminal cancer

A Somerset man arrested on suspicion of murder after surviving a failed suicide pact with his wife has died.

Scientist Dr Willie Stanton, 79, was terminally ill and it is thought he passed away in his sleep on Saturday.

He was on police bail after his wife suffocated to death at the couple's Westbury-sub-Mendip home in September.

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said: "His death is not being treated as suspicious. This concludes the investigation."

Dr Stanton, a former geologist, had written papers on the rapid growth of the human population and measures that should be taken to limit it.

His wife Angela, 74, was found dead on 29 September.

A post-mortem examination revealed Mrs Stanton died from suffocation.

Dr Stanton, who had terminal cancer, was arrested on suspicion of her murder and later bailed.

Speaking in December, he defended their failed suicide pact and said the pair did not want to be separated.

"What we did... was entirely reasonable for two rational, non-religious people who'd reached the end of their lives, which they'd enjoyed so much," he said.

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