Elderly couple signed suicide pact

MIKE WATSON
Last updated 12:53 24/06/2013

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An elderly Paekakariki couple, prominent in the local community, signed a suicide pact before ending their lives together, a Coroners Court has found.

Adrian and Marei Webster were found lying side-by-side by family in their Ames St home in the Kapiti town in March last year.

In his findings from the inquest into the cause of death released this morning Wellington coroner Garry Evans found the couple were parties to a suicide pact.

Mr Evans said it was desirable the "true facts surrounding the couple's deaths should be made known as it attracted widespread media coverage at the time".

Mr Evans however suppressed all information as to the mode of death concluding there "should be no legitimate interest from the public in the manner in which the couple met their deaths".

A number of notes were found by family alluding to suicide after the bodies were discovered by family members, Mr Evans said.

The couple, both aged in their 70s, were described as "giants of the community".Both were active in local politics.

Adrian Webster was the Paekakariki Community Board chairman.

He had been diagnosed with stomach cancer and unbeknown to his family, had been given only months to live.

His wife Marei Bollinger-Webster was described by friends as his "loyal lieutenant, confidant and friend".

Before her death Mrs Webster had said to friends she would be unable to live without her husband.

WHERE TO GET HELP

  • Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
  • Depression Helpline (8 am to 12 midnight) - 0800 111 757
  • Healthline - 0800 611 116
  • Kidsline (aimed at children up to 14 years of age; 4 pm to 6 pm weekdays) - 0800 54 37 54 (0800 kidsline)
  • Samaritans - 0800 726 666 (for callers from the Lower North Island, Christchurch and West Coast) or 0800 211 211 / (04) 473 9739 (for callers from all other regions)
  • Suicide Crisis Helpline (aimed at those in distress, or those who are concerned about the wellbeing of someone else; 12 noon to 12 midnight) - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
  • Suicide Prevention Information New Zealand - www.spinz.org.nz
  • Youthline - 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz
  • What's Up (for 5-18 year olds; 1 pm to 11 pm) - 0800 942 8787
  • www.depression.org.nz
  • www.thelowdown.co.nz - visit the website, email team@thelowdown.co.nz or free text 5626 (emails and text messages will be responded to between 12 noon and 12 midnight).

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- The Dominion Post

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