A MAN charged with aiding and abetting a suicide 18 years ago took his own life in similar circumstances, an inquest was told.

Anthony John Bowler, of Clydfan, Rhydlewis, was found by a neighbour at his home on February 18 this year, the inquest at Aberystwyth Justice Centre heard.

The 84-year-old retired schoolmaster had tied a plastic bag over his head. A post mortem concluded that death was due to plastic bag asphyxia.

PC Andrew Griffiths told the inquest that back in 2000, Mr Bowler had been arrested and charged with aiding and abetting the suicide of Elizabeth Mary Gale.

Mr Bowler had reported himself to the police and had been present when she died, after she also had tied a plastic bag over her head and taken temazepam.

PC Griffiths said Mr Bowler had not been convicted of any offence but the police computer did not say whether he had been found not guilty or the charges dropped.

Neighbour Mrs Susan Evans, who had known Mr Bowler for 25 years, told the inquest that she had gone to Mr Bowler’s house to drop off some eggs, which she did every Sunday.

“There was still a box of eggs on the bench outside and felt something was not quite right,” she said.

“I looked through the window and saw him in a chair in the kitchen with the bag over his head. I went in and took hold of his hand but he was already gone.

“He had not talked to me personally about ending his own life but I did know he was interested in euthanasia and that 18 years ago he had been interviewed in relation to the death of a lady in the village.”

Coroner Peter Brunton said Mr Bowler had left an extensive three-page letter, in which Mr Bowler said he found the reasons to go on ‘intolerable’.

Recording a conclusion of suicide, Mr Brunton said: “Mr Bowler had reached a point in his life in which he decided his conditions were intolerable.

“Referring to the suicide 18 years ago, the same method was used as he used on himself. It is sad that a retired schoolmaster aged 84 should feel he has to bring matters to a head in this way.”

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