MS symptoms lead Labour stalwart to hang herself
May 10, 2012
A Bracknell Labour Party member diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) hanged herself because she could not bear being unable to write, an inquest heard.
Valerie Ann Buckle, also known as Ann, was found in the bathroom of her Finchampstead Road home in Wokingham at around 6pm on Wednesday, December 28, last year.
A statement from her GP Dr Jeremy Gibson read out during the inquest last Thursday, May 3, said: “She has slowly become more disabled and became frustrated with her increasing disability.
“The circumstances look to me to be clear and calculated on her part.
“She said life wasn’t bearable without her ability to write.” Mrs Buckle, 72, was a member of the party’s Sandhurst and Crowthorne branch and was diagnosed with MS in 1979.
Carer Roland Horwood visited Mrs Buckle four times a day and on December 28, 2011, he had so far completed two visits, the inquest at Windsor Guildhall heard.
In a statement he said: “Ann had appeared more depressed than normal. I returned at 5.45pm and unusually the door was locked. She locked the door about a year ago when she took an overdose.”
The coroners’ court heard the key was left in the lock from inside the house.
Police were called to Mrs Buckle’s home and she was found just after 6pm. Officers also found a note typed on to her computer screen.
Jean Warrick, Mrs Buckle’s cleaner of 30 years, said in a statement: “When I first started Ann’s condition wasn’t too bad and she could get around steadily.
“About eight years ago the deterioration started to speed up and she reached a point where she had to use a wheelchair to get around.”
Deputy coroner for Berkshire Ravi Sidhu said: “It’s clear from the evidence, particularly that relating to what was found on the computer screen by police, where she says of her inability to carry on fighting the illness.”
He continued: “She didn’t want to continuing living with an illness that had robbed her of a quality of life.”
Mr Sidhu recorded a verdict that Mrs Buckle took her own life.