SERGEANT Louise Gibson hanged herself as she feared she had “lost everything” after her policeman husband had an affair, an inquest was told today.
The 43-year-old’s body was discovered in Crook’s Wood in Great Kingshill by a dog walker at about 3.55pm on May 19 – four days after she was reported missing from her parents’ home in the village.
The inquest heard how the mother-of-three was in “emotional distress” after discovering her husband, PC John Gibbs, was having an affair with a PCSO based at High Wycombe police station.
She had been taken back to her parents’ home by a colleague on May 15 following a meeting with police management in which they suggested she would be ‘moved sideways for a short time’ to deal with her issues.
Her father Charles Ward said she stormed out of his house later that day following a heated telephone row.
It was the last time he saw her alive.
He said: “[Earlier that afternoon] she explained what happened [at work] and said her life was over, her career was ruined, and John had won.
“She also said she wouldn’t care if she woke up in the morning...
“[Later at about 5.30pm] I heard Louise shout down the phone ‘you’ll be sorry when I hang myself’ and she ran out the door.
“I followed her but couldn’t see her, so I took the dog to look for her in a nearby farm. I went back to the house and got my grandson to help.”
After returning to the house after being unable to locate Sgt Gibson, they found a number of letters on her bed.
One was made out to the family and her children ‘saying goodbye’, there was also one to her husband alongside her will. The police were then called.
Mr Ward said her daughter and PC Gibbs, who had been together ten years and had a house together in Macclesfield, had been going through a break-up.
Mr Ward added Amersham-born Sgt Gibson believed she had “lost everything”.
DCI Kevin Brown told the inquest that there had been three reported sightings of Sgt GIbson and officers had made two ‘cursory searches’ of Crook’s Wood prior to the dog walker’s discovery.
He said Sgt Gibson was made a ‘high risk’ missing person after the discovery of the suicide notes and the knowledge her colleagues at Wycombe police station had of her personal circumstances.
Discussing the meeting between Sgt Gibson and her seniors, DCI Brown said:”I’m aware she was very distressed during the meeting. Her perception was disproportionate to what it was about.
“It was in relation to the ongoing circumstances between her husband and the effect it was having on her and her team, there were moves to try and make it a better working environment for all.
“They decided the best help they could give was to take her away from the frontline supervising role for a short time to seek any help.
“She was a professional police officer and it didn’t sit very well with her career development. With the marriage breakdown she thought she was losing her team, her job and her husband.”
Buckinghamshire Coroner Richard Hulett ruled today that Sgt Gibson took her own life.