A SUICIDE pact led a Hailsham man to suffocate himself in a car with a stranger he had met on the internet.
An inquest into the death of 37-year-old Mark Searle, of Caburn Way, was held at High Wycombe Magistrates Court this week following his death on February 22.
Buckinghamshire Coroner Richard Hulett heard Mr Searle, a married senior staff nurse, had travelled 100 miles from his Hailsham home to take his life after entering into a suicide pact with 23-year-old teacher Jenny Spain from Deptford, London.
The pair researched their deaths before driving to a remote spot near Chalfont St Giles in Buckinghamshire.
Police uncovered an internet and text trail between the pair, who were complete strangers to one another.
They had researched their suicide method online and planned their deaths in February.
Their bodies were found in a car by dog walker Judy Thompson.
She told the inquest at High Wycombe that she had spotted the car in a Buckinghamshire country lane and saw two bodies in the back.
Ms Thompson said she had seen Mr Searle’s body sitting in the car cradling Ms Spain in his lap.
The dog walker told the coroner the car’s windows had been taped up and there was a strong smell of bad eggs.
Emma, Mr Searle’s wife, said her husband had suffered with suicidal thoughts for as long as she’d know him.
She told the coroner, “I knew he had suicidal thoughts and he did find an outlet for that online.”
The inquest also found that the pair had been able to find information about their suicide method within three minutes.
Mr Hulett recorded a verdict of suicide for both Ms Spain and Mr Searle.
He said, “There was a clear decision and determination to take this course of action which could only result in the death of both of them.
“With this in mind, I need to return two verdicts that each of the individuals took their own life.”