Elderly couple bag their possessions before joint suicide


An elderly couple believed to have committed suicide amid mounting debts bagged up their possessions and left notes for their daughter before taking their lives.
Martin and Catherine Joyce, aged 68 and 66, also left a note to anyone who found them warning that there could be gas in their £1.5 million flat.
The couple taped a note to a chair at their home in Wimbledon, which said: “Stop. Danger. We’ve committed suicide using gas.”
They were found together in bed, wearing their pyjamas.
The pair had planned their deaths in great detail. Before committing suicide, they packed up their possessions into bags and left a note to ask their daughter Amanda to take them to a clothing bin.
Mr and Mrs Joyce had been directors of a real estate company which had debts of £87,000.
An inquest into their death heard that the husband-and-wife killed themselves because they could not face not being able to lead the life they wanted to.
Coroner Shirley Radcliffe said “They were faced with the prospect of a change in their circumstances and lifestyle.
“They thought they weren’t going to live the life the wanted. They agreed they didn’t want to face that.It was incredibly well thought out and planned with minimum disruption to everybody.

“They left notes making cogent reasons why they made this decision.They did not consider themselves depressed or fed up. This was a way of ensuring a good death.”

The couple were discovered when neighbours became worried about the presence of gas in their homes. Police officers than forced their way into the flat and made the discovery.

The inquest heard that the pair had put their clothes into bags and left a note for their daughter. They had also told her that she could use a supermarket trolley in the basement to load bags into to take them away.
Recording her verdict, Coroner Radcliffe said both Mr and Mrs Joyce were fit and well for their age and loved each other, their daughter, son-in-law and their grandchildren.Neither of them were found to have any drugs or alcohol in their system and she said it was clear that it was a joint decision with no coercion in from one or the other.

She recorded a verdict of suicide by asphyxiation for both of them.

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Sam Dunis
Sam comes from Edinburgh and grew up with his mother and step-dad. His father left the country when he learnt he was going to be a father. Sam never had the opportunity to see him and still wonders what he looks like. School wasn’t his thing, he would rather spend sometime with his friends, play rugby and chat girls up. Sam used to help his step dad, a plumber, during summertime. After doing it for several years, he realized he could work with his father and hopefully take over the family business when his step-father would retire. Sam spends most of his time off taking care of his mother, training with the local rugby team. Sam doesn’t have any girlfriend at the moment. He is therefore going out every weekends.