Woman burnt herself to death 18 months after sister's suicide
A RETIRED company secretary burnt herself to death 18 months after her sister committed suicide, an inquest heard.
Patricia Hampton, 66, turned herself into a fireball at her home in the Cotswolds after becoming convinced that all female members of her family were likely to kill themselves.
Mrs Hampton's horrific death came just days after she had agreed to seek psychiatric help.
She burned to death on the patio of her home after buying petrol to carry out the act while her husband was out.
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Gloucestershire Deputy Coroner David Dooley returned a verdict that she had taken her own life.
Mrs Hampton, 66, of Cambridge Way, Minchinhampton, died on May 18 this year.
Her son-in-law Andrew Dellow told the hearing at Gloucester Coroner's Court that she had been a very private person.
"Her sister's death 18 months before had been a big shock and she was suffering from depression. We were all keen that she should get better and she was receiving ongoing treatment," he said.
"On May 16, my father-in-law David said she was behaving strangely. She had posted a valuable bracelet to a niece saying she wanted her to have it and this set off alarm bells."
Mrs Hampton's son Christopher told the hearing: "She seemed to believe that because her sister had committed suicide, all female members of the family would be likely to do so."
Detective Sergeant David Shore-Nye said he had been told that Mrs Hampton started suffering from depression and anxiety when her mother died 20 years before.
Summing up, Mr Dooley felt he could be sure of Mrs Hampton's intent to take her own life because she specifically went to buy the petrol.