Couple, 89 and 90, in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ suicide pact following 50-year marriage

Two pensioners have died in an apparent suicide pact after claiming they "wanted to walk through the pearly gates of heaven together", an inquest heard.

Ida, 90, and her 89-year-old husband Geoffrey took an overdose at their home in Swinton, Lancs, in May 2019.

The coroner who was conducting the inquest described the couple who had been married for half a century as a modern-day Romeo and Juliet.

Ida and Geoffrey had planned their death and had made the decision to die before taking the painkillers.

The 90-year-old died following the overdose but her husband was left a widower after he survived the attempt and was later found by a neighbour.

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Geoffrey returned to their home but later continued with his promise to his wife and took his own life three months later.

The retired water board engineer was found hanged at home after he had waited for his niece and main carer, Janet Jackson, to go on holiday.

Geoffrey told his niece that he loved her before he took his life on July 26th.

Speaking at the inquest, Janet said her aunt was an "intelligent, artistic and creative" who was "a perfect match' for Geoffrey who she described as "passionate and opinionated".

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Jackson went on to say that her aunt and uncle had travelled the world, despite Geoffrey's struggles with PTSD after he was involved in a mining incident in New Zealand which left him hearing voices and suffering night terrors.

Ida's health had rapidly deteriorated over recent years which resulted in her having a pacemaker fitted and operations on her eyes.

The inquest heard that a neighbour had spotted Mr and Mrs Platt's front door open on the morning of Sunday, May 12th and found the couple unresponsive.

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Geoffrey and Ida were taken to Salford Royal Hospital where Ida initially recovered well and was lucid enough to inform her niece that she was angry she hadn't died.

Ida's condition worsened and she later died in hospital on May 18th.

Geoffrey was discharged on May 28th.

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Coroner Rachel Syed claimed that she was satisfied the correct decision had been made and Mr Platt did not meet the requirements for being sectioned.

Geoffrey's care was transferred to Salford Home Based Treatment team who were praised by Syed for the assistance they gave the widower.

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