A coroner today recorded a suicide verdict on the death of Tory MP Owen Paterson's wife, who hanged herself after leaving no notice and making plans to meet her family.
Aintree Racecourse Chairman Rose Paterson, 63, was found dead by a police officer in a wooded area near her family home in Ellesmere, near Wrexham, in the early hours of June 24th.
Before the tragedy, she googled suicide methods three times, her son Felix told the investigation.
Tory MP Owen Paterson's wife, Rose Paterson, died on July 24th
Mr Paterson, a former cabinet minister under David Cameron and Conservative MP for North Shropshire, warned and later revealed that his wife was found dead in her constituency home in the early hours of June 24 (pictured)
"We are still a long way from dealing with her death": Owen Paterson's full statement
The coroner's verdict, confirming that my wife Rose committed suicide by hanging, is utterly tragic to me, our family, and everyone who knew her.
We were married for 40 very happy years. Rose will be remembered as a devoted, loving woman, mother and grandmother, as well as the most successful professional in their diverse careers in the arts, charity and racing.
We are still a long way from dealing with her death.
I want to thank the Shropshire Coroner and the West Mercia Police for the very sensitive way they handled this tragedy.
I am now terribly aware that 18 people commit suicide every day in the UK and I intend to be more involved in suicide prevention strategies. If I can help prevent just one family from going through the extreme agony our families are currently suffering from, I would have done something really valuable.
I ask everyone to respect our privacy at this extremely sad time.
Mr. Paterson said in a statement following today's verdict, “The coroner's verdict confirming that my wife Rose committed suicide by hanging is utterly tragic to me, our family, and everyone who knew her.
& # 39; We were married for 40 very happy years. Rose will be remembered as a devoted, loving woman, mother and grandmother, as well as the most successful professional in their diverse careers in the arts, charity and racing. We are still a long way from coming to terms with her death. & # 39;
The investigation was told that Ms. Paterson had left no note and made plans to go overseas to see one of her three adult children.
In a statement accompanying the investigation, North Shropshire MP Mr Paterson, who was videolinking the hearing, said his wife was due to chair an Aintree board meeting on June 24th.
In a separate statement on the investigation, read to the court by Senior Shropshire Coroner John Ellery, Paterson said he made 999 calls from his office after the initial searches failed to find his wife, who failed to answer four calls.
Family members were concerned that Ms. Paterson might have gotten sick and unable to call for help, the MP said.
The investigation showed that toxicological tests did not produce any significant results.
The pathologist Dr. Joanne Stafford confirmed that she died from hanging.
In his speech today, Mr. Paterson thanked the coroner and the West Mercia Police for their “sensitive” handling of the tragedy.
He added: “I am now terribly aware that 18 people commit suicide every day in the UK and I intend to be more involved in suicide prevention strategies.
“If I can help prevent just one family from going through the extreme agony our families are currently suffering from, I would have done something really valuable.
"I ask everyone to respect our privacy at this extremely sad time."
Ms. Paterson died by hanging, according to her investigation today
Shropshire chief medical examiner John Ellery took up his verdict, saying Ms. Paterson's intentions could be inferred from the fact that she was found in a remote area and from her internet searches in May and June.
The coroner said, “Since I am satisfied that Ms. Paterson took her own life, I do not need to investigate why.
"I'm recording a suicide note and that Ms. Paterson died on or about June 24th."
Ms. Paterson was well known in the horse racing industry and was the first female president of the Jockey Club.
As Chair of Aintree, she achieved record attendance for the Grand National and was commended for inviting 30,000 locals for a free day of racing.
She was passionate about animal welfare, helped redesign Aintree's fences to make them safer for horses, and oversaw a whip check at the Jockey Club.
At the time of her death, the neighbors described the race director as a great racing enthusiast and a lovable woman who always greeted everyone with an inviting smile.
Mr. and Mrs. Paterson have three children, a daughter Evie, directly with their parents, and two sons Ned and Felix
Grandmother of two Rachel Mottram, 65, a farmer, said: “It's so sad, such a shock.
& # 39; She was a beautiful woman. I'm not quite the right word – she was a real woman. It's so sad for everyone in the district.
“She regularly rode her horse past the farm and there was always a smile and a greeting. She was a great horse lover. & # 39;
A close friend who refused to give her name said, “We are still in shock. She was wonderful. She was a wonderful person with such an inviting smile. & # 39;
Ms. Paterson was the daughter of the 4th Viscount Ridley and the sister of the current Viscount, Times science writer Matt Ridley.
She read history at New Hall, Cambridge before working as a "stable boy" at Newmarket and taking an art history course in Venice.
She held senior positions at Sotheby & # 39; s and spent ten years as an art critic for the Daily Telegraph & # 39; s Northern before being named Aintree chairman in 2014.
In a statement released shortly after Ms. Paterson's death, Sandy Dudgeon, senior steward of the Jockey Club, described her as a wonderful person who enjoyed participating in grassroots races.
"She will be very much missed for who she was," said Mr Dudgeon.
For confidential assistance, call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit a local Samaritan office, see www.samaritans.org for details.
The Patersons also have two sons, Felix and Ned, who are pictured from left to right
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