ENTERTAINMENT

The retired police chief has committed suicide, hears the investigation


A retired police chief took his own life after becoming "paranoid and neurotic" while under coronavirus quarantine to protect his family.

James Connelly-Webster, 58, was found dead in a chalet at the end of his yard in Crackington Haven, Bude, on April 1, after self-isolating there when he began to show symptoms of the virus.

Mr Webster, who had been Deputy Chief of Police for the Devon and Cornwall Police until his retirement, had returned to his Cornwall home from London at the end of March.

His widow Maureen told the Truro investigation how her husband had developed a cough and fever and decided to quarantine to protect his wife and children, Max and Robyn.

The couple planned this course of action so that both would show symptoms of the virus.

James Connelly-Webster (pictured), 58, was found dead on April 1st in a chalet at the end of his garden in Crackington Haven, Bude

During his eight-day quarantine, the family held Zoom meetings and ate socially distant meals together, the investigation learned.

But his wife and children soon noticed a deterioration in Mr. Connelly-Webster's mental health. Maureen described how he became "paranoid and neurotic".

She said her husband "changed completely" during his isolation. A six-page note on his bed revealed how hard he had struggled in the last days of his life.

Maureen added that before that shift, Mr. Connelly-Webster often threw back the curtains every morning and said it was a "nice day".

In a statement made on request, Maureen explained how when the couple met their husband in London in 1987, they often drank coffee in the mornings.

She said they continued that tradition with a socially distant drink at the end of the garden during her husband's isolation, but he hesitated over the days to join her.

He became paranoid about what her neighbors would think of him and the couple in the community if either of them took their dog for a walk on the nearby beach, she said.

The widow said it was "not like him to think that way".

Pictured: Crackington Haven in Bude, where Mr Connelly-Webster was found dead in April

Pictured: Crackington Haven in Bude, where Mr Connelly-Webster was found dead in April

The family had held a socially distant dinner the night before his death, during which time Mr. Connelly-Webster had attempted to reassure the family that his "thinking became clearer and he would be out tomorrow," the eighth day of his isolation.

However, on the morning of April 1, Maureen decided to go to the chalet with coffee on the deck.

Here she found a sign on the inside of the door that said, "Don't come in, call the police". Mr Connelly-Webster was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene.

Maureen said, “I believe that if Jimbo in his right mind would not take his own life. He had talked so much over the years, given his experience as a copper, about the havoc that would be left if someone committed suicide.

“It is simply inconceivable that this is his intention – but there is no denying that it is.

Mr Connelly-Webster had developed coronavirus symptoms on his return to Cornwall from London

Mr Connelly-Webster had developed coronavirus symptoms on his return to Cornwall from London

“I think it was a perfect storm. The psychological impact of the Covid-19 environment – media, fear, lack of control – as he went into self-isolation, and possibly the neurological impact of Covid-19 found in a small sample of Covid-19 deaths. & # 39;

After retiring in 2011, Connelly-Webster joined the NHS board of directors and worked with the Foreign Office around the world.

Mr. Webster had been the Metropolitan Police Commander and Chief Superintendent of Plymouth throughout his career.

In a statement, Connelly-Webster's son Max explained how his father had spoken to him around 9:30 p.m. the night before he died and said he would see Game of Thrones before going to sleep.

Max said his father "had no mental health issues" before contracting the alleged coronavirus, but since he started self-isolating he has become increasingly unstable – paranoid, fearful, withdrawn and at best, become his ability to control given his situation & # 39 ;.

"We said he had become unstable over the week and this was the first time we'd seen him like this," he said.

"Of course we have no idea to what extent he's mentally degraded."

Mr. Connelly-Webster from Plymouth, joined the police force when he was 18 and worked for the Metropolitan Police.

He then acted as Head of CID at Exeter and as Plymouth Police Commander before returning for promotion to the Metropolitan Police.

During the investigation in Truro, acting coroner Andrew Cox said Mr Connelly-Webster took his own life after eight days of self-isolation.

He noticed police reports confirming that the former police chief had become "increasingly unstable and paranoid" before leaving his wife a long and detailed letter, locking the chalet door and sending a message not to enter.

Based on what his son found on April 1, the coroner said he would record a suicide sentence.

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