DEVOTED wife Marie Evans took her own life just hours after the death of her husband, a coroner's court heard.

Mrs Evans, who lived in Shaw Hill, Melksham had lost her husband to natural causes on June 7 this year and had been devastated.

Last Friday the coroners court in Trowbridge heard how the 73-year-old had laid down for four hours on the floor with her husband’s dead body before going to bed that night and taking her own life by overdosing on a cocktail of medication that included paracetamol.

Mrs Evans’ son, Russell Evans, an officer with the Metropolitan Police, told assistant deputy coroner David Ridley that his mother had told him in the past that if she lost her husband she would be ‘on the next bus behind him’.

The couple had married on Christmas Eve in 1956 and had renewed their vows on their 25th wedding anniversary.

Fighting back tears, Mr Evans told the court his mother had been his father’s carer after a series of illnesses that had left him disabled and profoundly deaf.

A shy character, she had dedicated her life to looking after him and tended to refrain from meeting new people.

He said that in the past she had said she couldn’t face life without him if he was to die first, but that he had taken the comments rather lightheartedly and not as a serious suicide threat.

The court heard how Mrs Evans had suffered from depression throughout her life as a result of abuse as a child and had been on antidepressants at the time of her husband's death.

Mr Evans said: “My mother was a very determined person, she was very hardy in some surprising ways. She supported my father over the years of his illnesses.

“My view is for someone to feel like they needed to take that kind of action would take a degree of emotional courage. It was an adult decision that she appeared to make for her own reasons.

“It makes us very sad, but it’s not something I condone or pass judgement on.”

Mrs Evans' body was found in her bed by her daughter Victoria Storey, a former nurse, on June 8, along with a suicide note addressed to her and tablets on the draining board.

She told the court how she had been asked by her mother to be left alone on the night of her father’s death so she could grieve and ‘spend time talking to him’.

Mr Ridley did not read the suicide note out in court, but said he was satisfied that it was in Mrs Evans' handwriting.

He told the family that many people would envy the kind of marriage Mr and Mrs Evans shared and that he felt a suicide verdict was appropriate in this case.