Coroner rules separate suicides on Honiton couple

PUBLISHED: 17:00 17 January 2017

County Hall in Exeter.

County Hall in Exeter.

Archant

A man hanged himself six hours after his lover killed herself in the same way at the same house.

Upset Lech Augustynowicz hanged himself in his home in Honiton.

Just six hours earlier he had returned to the terraced house to find his partner Krystyna Maliga had hanged herself.

The inquest heard that she had hanged herself shortly before 2pm, on Sunday, July 10, and was confirmed dead at 2.41pm by paramedics.

Before 8pm that night, 55-year-old Lech did the same thing.

He was rushed to an Exeter hospital, where his death was confirmed at 2.36pm – almost exactly 24 hours after 61-year-old Krystyna had died.

The Exeter inquest, held at Devon County Hall, heard she had been the victim of bullying at work and her relationship with fellow Pole Lech had become difficult.

The Greater Devon coroner Dr Elizabeth Earland concluded both had committed suicide.

She said: “It is clear life was getting on top of her from a number of sources.

“This court does not blame anybody or why they have taken the actions that they have.

“It was a difficult relationship towards the end.”

Dr Earland said Krystyna left two handwritten suicide notes in the dining room.

One said she was ‘being screwed at work’ over an allegation of stealing some headphones, as well as bullying. The allegation was being investigated.

In the other note to her family, she wrote: “I am scared of getting old. I love you.”

Her daughter Margaret, who attended the hearing, made a statement and made a dramatic claim.

She said: “Lech killed her. She was forced to write the notes.”

The coroner said: “There is no evidence of third party involvement.”

The pathologist said there was no ‘foul play or trauma’ and she died from hanging – as did unemployed recycling worker Lech.

Margaret and her brother claimed Lech was controlling and their mother was scared of him.

Her daughter said her hard working breadwinner mum was bullied at work for two years.

Detective Constable James Hardy spoke to Lech after his partner’s suicide.

He said: “He was emotional, but I did not have the impression he would take his own life.”

Later that evening, her grown-up children received text messages from Lech saying he was going to meet their mother.

Emergency services raced back to the house and found him hanged.

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