Norwich man tried to kill himself on late wife’s birthday

A retired plant pathologist tried to kill himself by taking too many tablets on the date of his late wife's birthday, an inquest heard yesterday.

The inquest heard how James Cole, 88, admitted taking the tablets when he called for help at the independent living retirement development that he lived in the following morning. He died in hospital the next day.

Dr Cole had lived at Royal Arch Court, in Earlham Road, Norwich, since December 2009 after his family moved him there from South Africa following his wife's death.

He was suffering from a heart condition, but on March 29 took too many of his prescribed tablets.

Manager Trevor Green was called to his room just before 9am the following morning and his wife Eeva-Helena Green sat with Dr Cole as he phoned an ambulance.


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Mrs Green said: 'He was awake. He was in bed and his first words to me were 'Eeva, I did not do it well enough'.'

She said Dr Cole, who was born in Southampton, talked to her about his wife and said how it had been her birthday.

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'He said to me he did not wish to live,' she said.

The post mortem examination revealed that Dr Cole's severe heart disease had contributed to his death.

Recording a verdict of suicide, Norfolk coroner William Armstrong said: 'Dr Cole had become a somewhat lonely and isolated person. It is clear he took those tablets deliberately with the intention of taking his life.'

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