Belfast Telegraph

Car fire wife had psychiatric care

A woman found dead with her husband in a burnt-out car had been undergoing psychiatric treatment, it was revealed.

Audrey and Cyril Gardner, aged in their mid-50s, were found in the vehicle in a field on the Green Road, Lisburn, Co Antrim. The emergency services were called after a neighbour heard a loud bang on Sunday night. Police are not treating the deaths as suspicious.

A former employer of the digger driver said the married couple - who had two daughters - had been going through a difficult period financially and Mr Gardner was finding very little work.

David Williamson said: "He was a bit down and he had an interest in vintage tractors and cars and he was saying that he had lost interest in everything of late. Apparently his wife was in and out of psychiatric treatment. I suppose it all came on top of the two of them."

A gas container was discovered inside the car, which was in flames. The area where they died is rural, not far from their home near the village of Ravernet outside Lisburn.

Mrs Gardner had been receiving psychiatric care recently at Lagan Valley hospital but her programme was also understood to include home treatment.

A spokeswoman for the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust said: "The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust would like to offer its condolences to the family at such a tragic time.

"As with all unexpected deaths, a full multi-disciplinary review will be undertaken as soon as possible."

Investigating officers are keen to trace the movements of the couple and their red Ford Focus car before the report of the vehicle on fire.

Police believe the couple left their home in the Carnbane Road area at around 6.30pm and detectives appealed for anyone with knowledge of their movements between 6.30pm and 9.45pm to contact them.

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