Double tragedy orphaned children
Published 31/08/2012 | 15:02
A father fighting depression killed himself while on a family getaway after witnessing the accidental death of his wife four days earlier, orphaning the couple's children.
Roger Lamb, 47, was said to have had mental health problems in the weeks leading up to the holiday to Morocco last August, in which his wife Mathilde, 43, plunged to her death.
She was said to have fallen after leaning over a window ledge at the family's holiday accommodation when she was disturbed by noise in the streets below.
Her husband tried to drown himself in a nearby harbour following the tragedy, but was rescued by local men.
His children - who cannot be identified for legal reasons after a ban was put in place by coroner David Ridley - said Mr Lamb's mood had picked up when they moved to different accommodation in the wake of their mother's death.
But the alarm was raised when Mr Lamb failed to meet his children for breakfast on August 21, four days after his wife's death. Hotel staff said he had fallen from the first floor, landing in reception. He suffered serious head injuries and died the following day.
Mr Ridley said Mr Lamb "took his own life while suffering from depression".
The Lambs' family members, speaking outside the court, said the inquest in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, brought to an end "what has been a harrowing period" for them. "We pray that (Mr and Mrs Lamb) may now rest in peace," they said in a statement. "They were devoted and loving parents who succeeded in bringing up their lovely children, and the future of their children will remain the principal concern of both their families."
Mrs Lamb, who was 43 and known as Tilly to friends, died on August 17 last year. The family had left their home in Wiltshire four days earlier to fly to Morocco.
The inquest heard the couple's marriage had previously been "on a knife-edge", and they were concerned with "financial problems" in the months before the holiday, but Mr Ridley said: "While on holiday, the comments were that [Mr and Mrs Lamb] were at ease. What we have here is a family enjoying themselves on holiday. There is nothing to intimate that it was anything other than that."