Couple died side-by-side at home in Sheffield after taking same combination of drugs

Sydney and June Ward
Sydney and June Ward
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A 'larger-than-life' couple died side-by-side after taking drugs at their home in Sheffield, an inquest heard.

June and Sydney Ward were found dead at their home on Fox Hill Road, in Foxhill on January 14 this year.

Sheffield Coroner's Court heard on Friday how the husband-and-wife, both aged 80, had each taken the same combination of drugs.

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A statement from his doctor, read out in court, revealed Mr Ward had suffered from a list of debilitating conditions, including lung disease and high blood pressure, which left him housebound.

He had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer but chose not to receive treatment for that because, according to his son, the couple believed one of his pre-existing health problems would kill him first.

Mrs Ward, who was his carer, had a history of depression, according to her medical records, and their son said Mr Ward had also struggled with poor mental health in recent years as his physical condition declined.

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Paul Ward, their only son, told how he had found his parents lying on the floor together that afternoon after letting himself in because he was worried about them.

Police later discovered notes left by his mother, and found empty packs of tablets in the kitchen.

Despite the couple's difficulties in their later years, their son said they had enjoyed a largely happy life together.

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"They were larger-than-life. Dad was the comedian and my mum was the drama queen," he said.

"They were just working people living working people's lives.

"They had a pretty good life generally. It sounds awful but it actually wasn't like that."

He added that his father had been a metal worker and his mother was a clerk for East Midlands Gas before they retired.

Assistant coroner Katy Dickinson recorded a narrative verdict, saying they both died after taking the same combination of drugs but it was not clear they had intended to take their own lives.