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Updated 14:37, 24 Apr 2015
By Joe Gammie
Pensioner Elizabeth Rogers loved singing and been an active member of her local operatic society when she was found dead
Elizabeth Rogers was found hanging in her home after spell of depression
An opera singer hanged herself after fearing she was losing her voice and would be ousted from her amateur singing group, an inquest heard.
Pensioner Elizabeth Rogers was found hanged by her husband.
Despite being rushed to hospital still breathing, Mrs Rogers died several hours later.
In a statement read to an inquest, her husband Edward said his wife had loved singing and been an active member of her local operatic society.
However, in the weeks leading up to her death she had visited the doctor complaining about toilet troubles, tiredness and difficulty sleeping, which he said came in part from her fear of being dropped from the choir if she failed a voice check.
Reading the statement, Berkshire coroner Peter Bedford said: “His wife had visited her doctor several times before her death, describing tiredness and toilet troubles and difficulty sleeping at night.
“In addition she had put on some weight which she was quite upset about.
“His wife loved singing, she was an active member of the choir of her local operatic society. However, at the age of 81 years she was worried she would fail an upcoming voice check and politely be asked to leave.”
The inquest in Reading, Berkshire, heard that Mrs Rogers had called her GP and asked to be put on a course of anti-depressants less than two weeks before she died.
On the day of her death her husband said she was in high spirits and told him to go off to work, waving him off from the door.
However, Mr Edwards returned three hours later to find his wife hanged. Razor blades and blood were also found in the kitchen.
He called 999 and paramedics rushed to the family’s home in Florence Road, Sandhurst, to find that Mrs Rogers was still breathing.
She was taken to Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey.
Reading Coroners’ Court, where a verdict of suicide was recorded
But after arriving at hospital she suffered a cardiac arrest and showed signs of severe brain injury caused by the lack of oxygen and was pronounced dead within hours.
A post-mortem examination revealed she had numerous small cuts to her forearms, hands and feet, which were consistent with being self inflicted from a razor blade.
Dr Robert Chapman, a pathologist at Wexham Park Hospital in Slough, concluded that the cause of death was hanging.
Recording a verdict of suicide, Mr Bedford said that he was sure Mrs Rogers had taken her own life because she would not have known when her husband would return and therefore it was not a “cry for help”.
“Mr Rogers has not expressed an opinion about the circumstance of his wife’s death,” he added.
“There is no doubt that his wife chose an opportunity to suspend herself, as described, at their home address while she was aware he was away.
“Her husband has highlighted one or two issues in her life that would have left her feeling low in mood.
“I can be satisfied Mrs Rogers took her own life, but I think it is important to add that she did so whilst suffering from depression.”