Tragedy of grieving man unable to go on

Date published: 01 April 2011

Devoted couple ‘lived for each other’ - son
A GRIEVING widower kept his wife’s death a secret and took his own life, unable to cope with the heartache of losing her.

The tragedy of Avril Jones’ accidental overdose was too much to bear for loving husband Trevor, who fulfilled a long-standing pact that he would kill himself should anything happen to her.

“He said he would do this,” cried son Neil Jones to police after discovering the body of his father at their home in Milnrow Road, Shaw.

The devastating circumstances unfolded after Avril, a 58-year-old former machinist, suffered a seizure at the pair’s home on February 18, 2010.

An Oldham inquest yesterday heard how husband Trevor had left her on the floor for six hours, assuming she was sleeping off the effects of the attack. But when paramedics were called, she didn’t respond

Three days later Mr Jones, (62), was found by his son, surrounded by empty insulin pens and packets of prescription drugs.

It wasn’t until paramedics informed the family that they realised their stepmother had already passed away. He had chosen to suffer in silence.

“They lived for each other,” said son Lee Jones.

The pair married in 1990, but Mrs Jones’s health began to deteriorate. Milkman Mr Jones gave up work to look after her, despite being a wheelchair-bound diabetic himself.

Tests showed Mrs Jones’s blood had toxic levels of the drug Amitriptyline, and slightly high levels of painkiller Tramadol.

The family said they believed their stepmother wouldn’t have taken her own life: she was elated at the arrival of a much longed-for granddaughter.

But they admitted it was likely Mr Jones had intended to kill himself. Tests revealed he too had toxic levels of amitriptyline in his blood.

Son Neil Jones told the coroner the pair always said that they wouldn’t be able to go on if they were separated.

Coroner Simon Nelson said: “I would hope that Mr Jones felt no guilt. I accept he simply felt unable to continue on his own.

“I do hope sincerely that the two of them will be remembered for the devoted care they provided for each other.”

The coroner reached verdicts of accidental death for Mrs Jones and that Mr Jones had taken his own life.

He said: “It’s absolutely clear they were a devoted couple. Although I can’t condone any act, I can understand. He acted on his heart.”