A DEVOTED couple entered a suicide pact on learning that the husband had only a short time left to live.

In one of several jointly signed letters left for friends, the police and their solicitor, Howard and Jacqueline Titterton wrote: “Neither one of us wishes to live without the other.”

They said they had had “a great life” and both agreed what they should now, with neither outing pressure on the other.

Their deaths were planned meticulously, leaving a key with their next-door neighbours for the police to enter their home and putting labels on items with the names of people who were to receive them.

Details of the double tragedy emerged at yesterday’s inquest in Ruthin when David Pojur, assistant coroner for North Wales East and Central, recorded conclusions of suicide on both of them, who were found dead in their home in Bishop’s Walk, St Asaph, on November 13 last year.

Mr Titterton, 80, a retired research and development officer with glass manufacturers Pilkington, had been diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer and was receiving palliative care at home, where his wife, a former nurse, was able to help care for him.

Their next-door neighbour, Denbighshire County Councillor Andrew Thomas, said in a statement that Mr Titterton had begun looking frail but seemed “OK” a few days before his death.

His wife Susan Thomas described them as “lovely people” and said the tragedy came as a real shock, though she had thought it odd that Mrs Titterton had only the previous day given her a park-and-ride ticket for Chester, telling her she would not be using it.

On the morning of November 13, Mr Thomas found an envelope through his door containing £500 and a note indicating that they had killed themselves.

“I wondered if I was reading what I was,” he said.

Mrs Thomas called 999, as the couple had asked, and when officers arrived they found Mr Titterton lying in an empty bath covered by a blanket and a dressing-gown, and his wife was on the bed.

Home Office pathologist Dr Brian Rodgers said both died of suffocation.

Among those who received letters on the day on which the bodies were found was Anthony Jones, a close friend from their childhood days, with whom they had spent numerous holidays.

He said the Tittertons, who had no children, enjoyed travelling, especially cruises, and shared the same hobbies of music and photography.