Diocese of Leicester

Suicide verdicts recorded for church-going couple

Mon 18 Sep 2017
By Premier Journalist

A coroner investigating the deaths of a former lay canon of Leicester Cathedral, Mary Lawson and her husband, Sean Lawson, has heard about a planned joint suicide.

Mark Lawson wrote an email to police timed to reach them after he and his wife had died. It explained that they would be found in bed, having taken their own lives, and it detailed their wishes. The subject of the email included the words "apologies for this".

The bodies of Mary Lawson, 63, and Sean Lawson, 50, were found in the bedroom of their home in Rugby, Warwickshire, on 28th May this year.

Diocese of Leicester


The coroner Sean McGovern said Mary Lawson suffered from a stroke 18 months ago which led to severe disability and a number of unsuccessful therapies. She was previously a head teacher and a lay canon at Leicester Cathedral.

The inquest found that their deaths had been meticulously planned with Mr Lawson telling his colleagues he would not be at work the following week.

Detective Inspector Paul Thompson was quoted by The Times as saying: "Clearly there is a significant degree of planning: several boxes laid out, a number of letters to friends and associates, a quantity of cash to pay for the funeral".

He also said "They were churchgoers. This would not be a decision they made unless they felt there was no alternative".

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