Page last updated at 13:21 GMT, Friday, 5 December 2008

Couple's house deaths on same day

The house at Valley on Anglesey
The couple's home at Valley on Anglesey

An elderly couple died on the same day at their home - but neither knew the other was dead, a coroner said.

Eric Hughes, 71, had a heart attack in the kitchen of their Anglesey home and his wife, Mona, 63, was found hanging in a bedroom, an inquest was told.

But deputy north west Wales coroner Nicola Jones told the inquest at Caernarfon the evidence made her think neither knew about the other's death.

Verdicts of death from natural causes and suicide were recorded.

The inquest heard that former garage owner Mr Hughes suffered from a range of medical conditions including heart problems.

Mrs Hughes, who had worked as a school cook before retiring, had been suffering from depression.

'Nothing unusual'

On Friday 27 June, one of the couple's four children, who still lived at home, left the house early in the morning to go to work.

Derfel Hughes said there was nothing unusual in the house, and he spoke to his mother in the kitchen before he left.

Later that morning their daughter, Eirwen Williams, received a phone call from her father saying he was feeling unwell.

She said she immediately left work and drove to her parents house.

When she got there she went into the house and called out to her father.

There was no answer and she found him "collapsed in the kitchen".


An ambulance was called but Mr Hughes had died, she said.

"Once the paramedic told me my father had died, I thought [of] where my mother was," she said.

She said she ran upstairs expecting to see her mother sitting on her bed, but instead found she had hung herself.

Home Office pathologist Dr Brian Rogers said Mr Hughes appeared to have been taken ill suddenly, and had suffered a "heart attack", and was pronounced dead at 1043 BST.

His wife was found hanged in the bedroom, and was pronounced dead at 1120 BST.

Despite this, Dr Rogers said because of the condition of the bodies he thought Mrs Hughes has died before her husband, and that neither knew about the other's death.

Summing up, the coroner told the family that Mr Hughes had "clearly died of natural causes" .

A verdict of suicide was recorded on Mrs Hughes.

"I am satisfied that Mr Hughes did not know of Mrs Hughes (death), and Mrs Hughes did not know about her husband's illness.

"I hope that gives you some reassurance," the coroner added.

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Inquest opened into Valley deaths
30 Jun 08 |  North West Wales

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