An inquest heard how a much-loved, retired police chief, a popular member of the Crackington Haven community, took his own life after he became ‘paranoid and neurotic’ while under coronavirus quarantine.
James Connelly-Webster, 58, was found dead in a chalet at the bottom of his garden on April 1 after self-isolating there to protect his family when he started to display symptoms of the virus.
Mr Webster, who was the Assistant Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police until his retirement, went to his home in Cornwall from London at the end of March. He developed a cough and fever, so decided to quarantine to protect his wife and grown-up children.
His widow, Maureen, said her husband ‘changed completely’ during his isolation.
At the inquest in Truro, acting senior coroner Andrew Cox said Mr Connelly-Webster had taken his own life following eight days of self-isolation.
Police reports which had confirmed the former police chief had become ‘increasingly unstable and paranoid’ before leaving a long and detailed letter for his wife, locking the chalet door and leaving a message for her not to enter.
The coroner recorded a verdict of suicide.
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