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Aylsham pilot killed himself ‘over death of his ex-wife’

17:26 22 January 2014


Norfolk's coroner Jacqueline Lake. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Archant Norfolk

A former airline pilot from Aylsham killed himself in mourning for the ex-wife he “lost twice”, an inquest heard.


Robert Watts was found dead at his home in Red Lion Court on September 28 last year, after friends and family became concerned at not having seen him that day.

An inquest in Norwich yesterday heard that Mr Watts, 66, had frequently talked about taking his own life in the 10 years since the death of his ex-wife to breast cancer.

Their marriage had ended many years, and she remarried, before the two were reconciled. The family expected them to spend the rest of their lives together, Mr Watts’ cousin Robert Stewardson told the inquest.

“As a family we never believe he completely got over the death of his wife 10 years ago,” he said.

“I remember getting tearful at the death of my mother, and he put his hand on my shoulder and said: ‘Robert, at least you didn’t lose her twice’.

“We suspected in the 10 years that elapsed that this get-out was always going to happen.”

Mr Watts was discovered at home by Mr Stewardson and a friend who had become worried when Mr Watts did not keep his usual Saturday-afternoon appointment with him.

Notes from Mr Watts to his family were found at the house, along with research on suicide methods.

A post-mortem found the cause of death to be anoxia – a depletion of oxygen in the body – and Norfolk senior coroner Jacqueline Lake reached a conclusion of suicide.


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