A grandad killed his wife of almost 50 years before ending his own life because he was struggling to look after her, an inquest has heard.
Kenneth Fisher, 76, and Edna Bond Fisher, 74, were found dead by a carer in their bungalow at Biddick Villas in Columbia, Washington on April 11.
Sunderland coroner Derek Winter heard today how Mrs Fisher died after being smothered, and her husband took an overdose of her medication.
Two notes written in Mr Fisher’s handwriting told of how he did not want his wife, who suffered from Parkinson’s Disease and dementia, to go into a home. Home Office pathologist Dr Mark Egan who performed the post mortem, said the cause of death of Mrs Fisher was asphyxiation.
The cause of death of Mr Fisher was given as poisoning with antidepressant nortriptyline, which was prescribed to his wife. He was also suffering from coronary heart disease.
Mr Winter recorded a conclusion of unlawful killing in respect of Mrs Fisher and concluded that Mr Fisher killed himself.
A statement released by the Fisher family read: “Our parents were a loving and devoted couple, loving and caring parents and grandparents.
“Over the last 20 years mam suffered from Parkinson’s and in her later years, dementia.
“During this time, dad lovingly cared for man 24 hours a day.
“Following mam’s discharge from hospital her health deteriorated rapidly and they both struggled to cope.
“This tragically culminated in their heart-breaking deaths.
“Mam and dad are sadly missed and are always and will always be in our thoughts.”