An elderly St Neots couple took their own lives after both suffering serious illness.

John and Josephine Forro, 78 and 71, of Hogsden Leys, were found dead at their home by a police officer on July 20.

An inquest held at Lawrence Court, Huntingdon, on Thursday (November 27) heard that Mrs Forro had a brain tumour and her health had seriously deteriorated, while Mr Forro had been receiving kidney dialysis.

Pc Lee Levens was called at 10.10am when Aaron Walker, the couple's son-in-law, became concerned after receiving no answer when trying to call their home. In a statement read by David Morris, senior coroner for South and West Cambridgeshire, Pc Levens said: “I was informed by Mr Walker that they had both been seriously ill and Mrs Forro was terminally ill, and they had discussed previously the taking of their own lives. Mr Forro had previously attended an assisted suicide seminar abroad and he had obtained some tablets.”

On arrival at their home, he noticed that the windows were open, knocked several times and called through the windows and the letterbox before letting himself in.

He added: “There was an elderly male reclining in a chair with his feet up and an elderly female lying on the sofa.

“My first impression was that they were both asleep. I checked both of them for signs of an injury or struggle and didn't find anything. I came to the conclusion that they had committed suicide.”

The inquest heard that empty brown glass tablet bottles with labelling written in Spanish were found at their home. There were also two glasses on the table.

The cause of both of their deaths was pentobarbital toxicity. The secondary cause was ischaemic heart disease for Mr Forro and pulmonary emboli for Mrs Forro.

In a statement, their family said: “As a family we support the choice that John and Josie made to end their lives in a controlled and dignified manner.

“We respect them both having the courage to see through their wishes.”

Mr Morris recorded a verdict of suicide for both Mr and Mrs Forro.