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Mathilde And Roger Lamb Fatal Fall Inquest Hears Details Of Deaths

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Roger Lamb fell to his death in Morocco
Roger Lamb fell to his death in Morocco

A father fighting depression killed himself while on a family getaway after witnessing the accidental death of his wife four days earlier, orphaning the couple's children.

Roger Lamb, 47, was said to have had mental health problems in the weeks leading up to the holiday to Morocco last August, in which his wife Mathilde, 43, plunged to her death.

She was said to have fallen after leaning over a window ledge at the family's holiday accommodation when she was disturbed by noise in the streets below.

Her husband tried to drown himself in a nearby harbour following the tragedy, but was rescued by local men.

His children - who cannot be identified for legal reasons after a ban was put in place by coroner David Ridley - said Mr Lamb's mood had picked up when they moved to different accommodation in the wake of their mother's death.

But the alarm was raised when Mr Lamb failed to meet his children for breakfast on August 21, four days after his wife's death. Hotel staff said he had fallen from the first floor, landing in reception. He suffered serious head injuries and died the following day.

Ridley said Mr Lamb "took his own life while suffering from depression".

The Lambs' family members, speaking outside the court, said the inquest in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, brought to an end "what has been a harrowing period" for them.

In a statement, they said: "We pray that (Mr and Mrs Lamb) may now rest in peace.

"They were devoted and loving parents who succeeded in bringing up their lovely children, and the future of their children will remain the principal concern of both their families."

Mrs Lamb, who was 43 and known as Tilly to friends, died on August 17 last year. The family had left their home in Wiltshire four days earlier to fly to Morocco.

The inquest heard the couple's marriage had previously been "on a knife-edge", and they were concerned with "financial problems" in the months before the holiday to the exclusive Essaouira resort.

But they were said to have been happy with each other, according to the couple's children, during the break abroad.

Ridley said: "While on holiday, the comments were that [Mr and Mrs Lamb] were at ease. What we have here is a family enjoying themselves on holiday. There is nothing to intimate that it was anything other than that."

Describing the moments that led to Mrs Lamb's death, the coroner said: "There was a disturbance in the early hours of August 17. Tilly went to investigate. She has been described as an adventurous individual with no sense of danger."

The court heard Mrs Lamb moved to the apartment window and strained to see what was causing the disturbance. She had apparently been remonstrating with noisy revellers in the streets below, who were taking part in celebrations connected to Ramadan.

Ridley said: "Tilly climbed on to the sofa at the end of the window and put her foot on the lower rung of the window balustrade.

"She was trying to get a better view of what was happening.

"Sadly, she lost her balance and tragically fell. On the way down she hit a canopy hoarding."

Mrs Lamb's children were asleep during the incident, with Mr Lamb being the only witness, the hearing was told.

She was taken to hospital but pronounced dead an hour later. The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death, caused by multiple injuries.

He ruled out any signs of foul play, or that there was any third-party involvement in her death. The family had not drunk any alcohol during their stay in the country, the coroner added.

The court was told the couple previously argued about plans for the family to move to New Zealand, where Mr Lamb - a geotechnical civil engineer - had been working since 2010.

Mrs Lamb's friend Deborah Clifford-Smith said Mr Lamb was apparently filing for divorce, the court heard in a statement.

"Tilly was quite adventurous with no sense of danger," she said. "Roger wanted to go to New Zealand to live, Tilly didn't want to go."

Mr Lamb, 47, also told his GP he was "suicidally low" before the holiday, but there appeared to be an improvement in his well-being by the time they arrived in Morocco, Ridley said.

"Roger was already a fragile and vulnerable person, and he threw himself off the edge of the harbour (following Mrs Lamb's death)," he said.

"Given the tragic loss of his wife, I am satisfied that when Roger jumped from the first floor (of the family's new accommodation, on August 21) he did intend to kill himself."

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