A policewoman committed suicide after writing a text to a male colleague thanking him for a ‘wonderful’ date – but accidentally sent it to her husband, an inquest heard.
PC Gail Crocker, 46, met a fellow officer while her husband Peter, 49, was away from their home near St Austell, Cornwall, on a business trip in London.
Later that evening the mother of two typed a message on her mobile saying: ‘Thank you for a wonderful evening. Only wish we could do this more often’.
Gail Crocker, 46, committed suicide after sending a text meant for a man she had dated to her husband
But Mrs Crocker sent it to her husband of 30 years by mistake, an inquest in Truro was told.
He came home and she admitted to having a ‘one-off’ rendezvous with a male colleague but insisted it had never happened before.
The couple rowed, and the next day Mrs Crocker called in sick from work and drove to a lane two-and-a-half miles away from her home in the village of St Stephen. She took an overdose and was later found dead in her car on 15 June.
Mr Crocker, of St Stephen, Cornwall, told the inquest his wife had begged him for forgiveness when he got back from his trip.
He said: ‘I got out [of the car] and she was in floods of tears saying she was sorry. She told me it was a one-off and she had never done it before.
Mr Crocker told the hearing they rowed the following morning, saying: ‘She went on and on again. My work phone rang. I was so angry I slammed it into the ground.
After going to the supermarket to buy a replacement phone, Mr Crocker arrived home later that day to find his wife and her car had gone.
Mr Crocker contacted her sergeant at Bodmin Police Station who told him she had called in sick for her shift that afternoon.
He said: ‘I didn’t sleep at all. I didn’t hear from Gail during the night.’
The following morning David Rendell and his wife, close friends of the Crockers, spotted Mrs Crocker’s car in the car park at Lanjeth, a nearby village, and called her husband.
Mr Crocker discovered his wife’s body in the boot next to an empty bottle of tablets, which the pathologist said caused her death, and suicide notes written to him and daughters Chloe, 22 and Gemma, 25.
Mrs Crocker, who met her husband in Plymouth when she was 15 and he was 17, first trained as a PCSO in Truro in 2003 and became a police constable in 2007.
Mr Crocker added in his statement: ‘She was a people person – she would speak to anyone about anything. Being a PCSO was her perfect job.
‘She was my life. We had plans. Nothing was worth her taking her life. I’m lost without her.’
The unnamed colleague with whom Mrs Crocker spent the evening was not required to give evidence or named at the inquest.
Returning a verdict of suicide, Coroner for Cornwall Emma Carlyon told the hearing she was satisfied that Mrs Crocker’s death resulted from a deliberate act to take her own life.
At the time of her death colleagues paid tribute to the ‘excellent’ police officer who was based in Truro and later Bodmin.
Sector inspector Robin Hogg said: ‘I have known Gail for several years and will always remember her as an excellent officer with a bright, happy and positive disposition.’
‘Gail leaves a husband and two daughters who miss her deeply and are very proud of the role she carried out in the community.’