Deaf and blind man takes life after wife dies
A MAN, who was deaf and blind, hanged himself in grief after his wife died of a sudden heart attack, a coroner ruled.
Stewart Timms, 63, and his wife Valerie, 68, who was deaf-mute, had been a loving and devoted couple who dedicated themselves to helping each other with their disabilities.
But after Mrs Timms died in the bedroom of their home in Andoversford, her husband hanged himself a few feet away, ruled deputy Gloucestershire coroner David Dooley.
He recorded a verdict that Mr Timms, a cabinet maker, committed suicide and Mrs Timms, a retired housekeeper, died of natural causes.
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The couple had two children and eight grandchildren.
Their bodies were found on June 16 after their daughter Emma Scott, of Blockley, went to visit.
They had last been seen alive two or three days before.
In a statement, their daughter said her parents had been married for 38 years.
Both were registered deaf and her father was also registered blind after suffering with worsening tunnel vision.
"They were a couple who were very much in love," she said.
"They did not argue and had not been arguing in particular in the run up to their deaths.
"They were always there for each other."
Speaking to the coroner's court in Gloucester, Mrs Scott said: "I am positive their deaths are not connected in that neither of them would in any way have assisted the other. They were a wonderful couple who were too much in love."
Mr Timms brother Howard said his brother had tried to kill himself 24 years ago, four months after the devastating news that he had been diagnosed with developing blindness. He had been deaf from birth.
His blindness had cost him his job but he had later been re-employed by his former employers.
Howard described his brother and Mrs Timms as "symbiotic" in the way they helped each other. Mrs Timms had learned to drive in her 40s when her husband could no longer do so.
"He always pushed himself to be cheerful. He didn't want to be a drag on anyone else," said Howard.
Mr Dooley said it was not necessary for him to rule which person died first but he believed it was Mrs Timms followed by her husband, he said.
"It is more likely than not that Mr Timms then found her and decided he couldn't go on without his wife," he said.