Summary:

Paragraph 3 reads: "The couple, who moved to the city from the Wirral this year, are understood to have overdosed on anti-depressants before swimming into the sea from the resort of Los Cristianos."

http://icbirmingham.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/0100localnews/tm_objectid=14839343&method=full&siteid=50002&headline=hols-pair-s-death-pact-name_page.html


Hols pair's death pact

Nov 5 2004

By Mark Cowan, Evening Mail
 

Police were today continuing to probe the death of a Birmingham man who died in Tenerife after he and his wife made a bizarre suicide pact.

William and Wendy Ainscow are believed to have made the pact as their shopaholic daughter's debts mounted.

The couple, who moved to the city from the Wirral this year, are understood to have overdosed on anti-depressants before swimming into the sea from the resort of Los Cristianos.

The Evening Mail revealed the tragedy in its late edition yesterday.

It was the second time the couple had attempted to kill themselves because of the stress and spiralling cost of looking after 32-year-old daughter Lisa, who has Asperger's Syndrome - a form of autism that can cause obsessive behaviour.

The Foreign Office confirmed that 74-year-old Mr Ainscow, a retired oceanographer for the Ministry of Defence, died on Tuesday after being pulled from the sea by a passer-by.

His wife, a 65-year-old retired supply teacher and former postmistress, was described as "barely alive" when she was pulled from the water, but was today in a stable condition in a psychiatric ward in Santa Cruz, the island's capital.

Ms Ainscow demanded designer clothes and expensive meals from her parents.

Her obsessions include spending money, constantly washing, and writing to public figures such as Prince Charles and Tony Blair.

She had almost 2,000 pairs of shoes and a collection of cuddly toys which filled a whole room.

Mr Ainscow was jailed in January 2003 for 15 months after he admitted racking up debts of ?50,000 to fund his daughter's obsessions. The Court of Appeal quashed the sentence after three months because of the exceptional circumstances,

Ms Ainscow was sent to hospital under Section 3 of the Mental Heath Act, but was unexpectedly discharged after a few months and returned to her parents' former home in the Wirral, where she refused to attend clinics.

Mr and Mrs Ainscow moved to Centenary Plaza, in Birmingham city centre, in an attempt to leave their old life behind.

A Foreign Office spokesman said consular staff had visited Mrs Ainscow in hospital and British police were helping Spanish officers with their investigation.

David Ward, British Consul in Tenerife, said: "We don't know at the moment what has caused this couple to reach the horrific decision to travel to Tenerife to do what they appear to have done.