From the Oxford Mail, 4 December 2013 (Story by Emma Harrison).
A MAN investigated for assisting the suicide of his ailing partner killed himself clutching her picture while on bail, a coroner heard yesterday.
Two inquests held into the deaths heard that Oxford University Press contract worker John Mladenovich sat and watched his partner of 15 years, Lisa Hole, die from an overdose of a veterinary drug in their living room.
Ms Hole, 44, who was believed to have a rare and devastating disease and had been diagnosed with ME and chronic fatigue syndrome, used a wheelchair and was bed-bound.
After waiting for about an hour, Mr Mladenovich called an ambulance to their home in Observatory Street, North Oxford, on Thursday, November 29, last year and was arrested.
The inquest at Oxfordshire Coroner’s Court heard that six months later, the 46-year-old killed himself with an overdose of the same drug and was found dead in the same place at the house on May 26.
Police said at the inquest that there was no evidence that he had assisted her death.
In a statement read out at the inquest about what happened at the time of the incident, paramedic Matthew Winser said Mr Mladenovich told him: “She just wants to die.
“I have been sitting with her since she took it. She lay down on the sofa and fell asleep very quickly.”
Ms Hole’s father, Gordon Hole, said the couple moved to Oxford about six months before she died.
He said in a statement: “At this time, Lisa was very ill.
“John loved our Lisa, cared for her and nurtured her. He has been part of our family for 15 years.”
He added that the family believed she had Lyme disease or Lyme borreliosis – an infection caused by a bite from a parasite.
Ms Hole spoke to the Newbury Weekly News about its crippling effect in 2009. She told the newspaper that she suffered a tick bite in the New Forest in January 1997, which caused her to feel dizzy and exhausted, and said a doctor later diagnosed Lyme disease.
Ms Hole said at the time: “My life was unbearable for a few years but I never gave up hope.”
Her inquest heard that she left a suicide note.
Oxfordshire Coroner Darren Salter said: “She had to persuade John to respect her wishes.
“She explains it is her considered wish to die.”
Det Sgt Rhian Evans told the inquest there was no evidence to prove any assistance and there were suicide notes left by Ms Hole.
Mr Mladenovich also left a number of suicide notes.
He had struck up a friendship with homeless man Bryn Barrick, who said in a statement read out at the inquest about the aftermath of the death: “He continued to talk about how he couldn’t carry on without Lisa.”
Mr Barrick grew concerned after not hearing from Mr Mladenovich for about seven days.
Two PCSOs went to Mr Mladenovich’s home, where he was found dead.
Two verdicts of suicide were recorded.