Mother Kills Herself After Losing Husband, Children In Horrible Tragedies

Mother Kills Herself After Losing Husband, Children In Horrible Tragedies

A devastated mother committed suicide after her three children, husband and subsequent partner all died in separate tragedies.

Patricia Gibbs, 67, felt 'so alone' when her son James Ellis, 33, was killed when his Yamaha motorbike collided with a van near Summercourt, Cornwall in June last year.

He was the last of her three children after the deaths of her daughters Tracy Jane in 1987 and Catherine Mary in 1995 an inquest in Truro, Cornwall heard this week.

After James’ death she said: ‘You don’t expect to lose your children before yourself and it never gets any easier.

‘James was my only one and now he’s gone. 

‘I just feel so alone. I would happily have given up my life to spare him.’

Mrs Gibbs’ first husband died in a boating accident and her subsequent partner suffered a heart attack.

Mrs Gibbs’ husband of eight years Leslie Gibbs found her dead at her cottage in Bugle, Cornwall in April this year, the coroner heard.

The 59-year-old engineer told the coroner that although she was ‘usually quite bubbly,’ he believed the death of her son was ‘a tipping point’.

Afterwards he said: ‘Her hobby was her family.

'She was a lovely person. I couldn’t have wished for any better.’

DC Steve White said: ‘For one person to experience so much tragedy in a lifetime is quite unusual and very sad.’

The inquest heard Mrs Gibbs had drunk some cider and gin, which was unusual for her, before taking her own life in a bedroom which contained her mother’s possessions and a photo of her son James.

Her husband returned home from work to find a note from his wife on the kitchen table and their dog Buster locked in the utility room.

The note said life was getting too difficult since the death of her children and she missed them.

The inquest heard she suffered from depression and panic attacks after their deaths.

Mrs Gibbs was also frustrated that she had to wait so long for an inquest into James’ death.

She said last August: ‘I feel like I am going mad wanting to explode with all the waiting. I just want to know what happened that day. 

‘I won’t be able to move on until I know. For now I am trying to go back and think of the happy times we had together.

‘I can’t believe we are never going to meet again and he’s not going to come up that path smiling with that motorbike helmet under his arm.

‘James always said “don’t worry mum I’ll always be here to look after you” but I guess that’s not to be.’

Her grandson Luke Hawken’s wife Gemma wrote: ‘When Luke’s mother died, Pat looked after him as her own.

‘She was really not that happy. Many sad things had happened in her lifetime.’

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