Heartbroken Shoreham man takes his own life after losing wife of 69 years

A heartbroken Shoreham man, whose ‘whole world had gone’ after losing his wife, tragically took his own life, an inquest heard.

Patrick Goldsmith, 88, was found dead at his home in Coventina Close, Shoreham, on May 4.

The inquest took place at Crawley Coroner's Court

The inquest took place at Crawley Coroner's Court

An inquest at Crawley Coroner’s Court yesterday (July 2), heard that the retired butcher was devastated when he lost his beloved wife, Beryl, in February.

His ‘whole world had gone’, the inquest was told, and her death had a ‘profound impact’.

Mr Goldsmith lost weight and became frail and less steady, the inquest heard.

He was still driving, but had been in an accident not long before his death – when his car hit a skip.

On the morning of May 4, he was trying to fix his car, the inquest heard.

His daughter, Caron Armstrong, who was living with him at the time, called out to him to say she loved him before going out.

While out, she tried to call him a few times, but got no answer, the inquest heard. She returned home after 5pm and tragically found him.

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Speaking after the inquest, Caron said she could not have wished for better parents.

“They were married for 69 years – and were together for 71 years,” said the 54-year-old.

“They met when they were teenagers. He just couldn’t cope without her.”

Caron had been looking after her parents at the family home for four years.

Her mum, Beryl, a former hairdresser, had Alzheimer’s and had got ‘progressively worse’ before her tragic death.

“Dad really wanted her at home,” said Caron, adding: “So we tried our best to have her at home and got a chair lift.”

Caron said she thinks the ‘final straw’ for her dad was when he had the accident while driving, and thought about giving up his license afterwards.

Mr Goldsmith had not left a note, the inquest heard, but Caron found a poem written by a family member in Canada in the dressing table in the spare room a few days before his funeral and he had written ‘love you Caz, but missed mum so much’ on it.

Caron told the inquest that her dad was ‘so special’, and that he was a ‘wonderful grandfather and great grandfather’.

Assistant coroner Lisa Milner recorded a conclusion of suicide and told Caron: “I think he was missing your mum wasn’t he, and very sadly intended to take his own life. I can see he was very well-loved.”