The 89-year-old wife and son of a frail 94-year-old were arrested on suspicion of assisting his suicide because they watched him deliberately overdose on prescription medicine, an inquest heard.
Ralph Snell was driven to take his own life on January 28 due to osteoporosis which had left him with crippling back pain and insomnia for two years.
After being prescribed medication by his GP, Mr Snell told his son Richard, 68, and wife Molly that he wanted to kill himself at home in in Lymington, New Forest, Hants.
The pair « morally supported him » and watched as a « determined » Mr Snell took fatal doses of the drugs in his armchair, Winchester Coroners’ Court heard.
Giving evidence yesterday, Richard said he had to open a bottle of medicine as his father « was not strong enough ».
He also revealed that he « bought him some chocolate cake and whisky to have with the tablets as a bit of a treat » during his final moments.
A doctor sent to their house after Richard dialled 111 to report the death called the police so officers could « ask them some questions ».
Mrs Snell and Richard were then arrested by Hampshire Police on suspicion of intentionally doing an act capable of encouraging or assisting the suicide of another.
Both were later released and no further action was taken.
DC Kayleigh Rush told the inquest: « Both Richard and Molly Snell were arrested on suspicion of assisting the suicide of Ralph Saxon Snell. I interviewed Molly.
« No further action was taken against either of them as it wasn’t in the public interest to prosecute Richard and there was no realistic prospect of convicting Molly Snell. »
Giving the cause of Mr Snell’s death as mixed drug intoxication, coroner Grahame Short described it as a « deliberate and planned overdose ».
« I am confident he planned to take his own life, » he added.
« It is not for me to make any judgment. I do understand your wish to support him. »
The coroner concluded that Mr Snell’s death was suicide.