Elderly couple signed suicide pact

MIKE WATSON
Last updated 14:40 24/06/2013
TERMINALLY ILL: Adrian Webster.
TERMINALLY ILL: Adrian Webster.

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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.

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".

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,  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 IF YOU ARE DEPRESSED

Lifeline: 0800 543 354

Depression helpline: 0800 111 757

Youthline: 0800 376 633

Samaritans: 0800 726 666

In an emergency, dial 111

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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