Page last updated at 19:43 GMT, Monday, 6 October 2008 20:43 UK

Widow forgives dead police chief

Carolyn Todd spoke after the inquest

The widow of the former chief constable of Greater Manchester Police who died from exposure on Snowdon has said she and his family have forgiven him.

A narrative verdict was recorded at the inquest in Caernarfon on Michael Todd, 50, whose body was found in March.

The inquest heard how he died days after his wife confronted him about one of several extra-marital affairs.

After the inquest, Carolyn Todd gave a statement saying she was sorry her husband had not been able to seek help.

Mrs Todd said: "In his last e-mail to me Michael said: 'I really am so sorry for all the hurt I have caused you, I just hope that you will be able to forgive me at least in part some day.'"

The tragedy is that Michael never felt able during his career to seek the help he badly needed
Carolyn Todd

She had sat impassively at the inquest as details of her husband's tangled love-life were revealed in evidence.

The inquest heard Mr Todd sent text messages saying he was in "a dark place" and expressing a wish to kill himself just days before he died.

North West Wales Coroner Dewi Pritchard Jones recorded that Mr Todd died of exposure when his mind was affected by alcohol, a sleeping drug and "confusion" due to his personal situation.

The coroner found that there was not enough evidence for suicide.

"I have forgiven him and Michael's family have forgiven him," said Mrs Todd.

"The tragedy is that Michael never felt able during his career to seek the help he badly needed and he never knew that we could and have forgiven him."

Michael Todd
Michael Todd admitted having an affair just days before he was found dead

The inquest heard how Mr Todd, dressed in only light clothing, froze to death on the slopes of Snowdon.

It also heard evidence of part of the last text message he sent to women who were not identified in court.

Det Ch Supt Chris Corchoran gave a statement outside court, saying Greater Manchester Police would continue to support Mrs Todd and her family "and make sure she has all the support she actually needs in getting through this difficult ordeal".

Mr Corcoran said he thought the coroner's comments "were well summarised and the recognition that this has been a really difficult and in-depth investigation with good collaboration between several police forces and a number of agencies, including North Wales Mountain Rescue".

He said: "I think the findings have been fair and open and comprehensive, thank-you."

Speaking after the inquest, Brian Paddick, a former deputy assistant commissioner at the Metropolitan Police who worked with Mr Todd there, told the BBC it was common knowledge he was having affairs while in London.

Mr Paddick, the Liberal Democrats' candidate in the recent London mayoral election, said: "It subsequently transpired that at least the commissioner and the most senior officers at the Met realised that he was involved in extra-marital activity."

A separate police inquiry is also be held into the death of the chief constable.


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