BBC News
Launch consoleBBC News in video and audio
Last Updated: Monday, 25 February 2008, 17:36 GMT
Widow's suicide followed funeral
A grieving widow who had a history of depression killed herself two weeks after her husband's death from cancer, a Cardiff inquest has heard.

Carol Evans, 57, from Cyncoed in the city, died the day after her husband Wayne's funeral last July.

The medical secretary who had tried to commit suicide when previously depressed, died on a railway line.

The inquest jury returned a verdict that she took her own life while suffering a mental illness.

The inquest heard Mrs Evans had been deeply affected by the death of her husband to whom she had been married fro 37 years.

Their daughter Melanie Evans told the hearing: "On July 4 we got up late because it was the day after my dad's funeral.

Forcing her into hospital against her will would have caused a deterioration in her mental state and exacerbated the suicide risk
Consultant psychiatrist John Lewis

"She sat on a chair in the living room saying 'I don't know how I'm going to live without him.'"

Mrs Evans said she was going out to buy milk, taking her coat and an umbrella with her, but never returned, the inquest heard.

She was found on the railway line near Rumney, after being hit by a Cardiff to London express.

Train drvier Michael Clancy said he was travelling at 75mph so he did not have time to stop the train before it ran over Mrs Evans' body.

British Transport Police's Insp David Goddard said his investigation found a nearby fence was scalable.

"Her body was found near the bridge so she could have jumped off it but her glasses and umbrella were alongside her so we thought she had probably walked to the scene," Insp Goddard said.

Brother's estate

A post mortem examination found Mrs Evans died of blunt head injuries. A toxicology report showed there were traces of anti-depressant medicines in her body but no indication of an overdose.

Consultant psychologist John Lewis said Mrs Evans suffered three bouts of severe depression and during one she attempted to kill herself by jumping off a flyover bridge.

He said her latest depression began in December 2004 and could have been triggered by work stress and being executor of her brother's estate.

On more than one occasion since, she was admitted to hospital under the Mental Health Act.

But Dr Lewis said he made the "difficult decision" not to admit Mrs Evans to hospital after her husband's death.

"Forcing her into hospital against her will would have caused a deterioration in her mental state and exacerbated the suicide risk.

"I felt it was important to respect her wishes at the time and that of her family, for her to be at home with her children so they could get on with the process of grieving."

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific