AN elderly lady suffering from a debilitating illness that had left her in "considerable pain", had researched ways to kill herself before ending her life, an inquest heard. 

Brenda Jacob, 77, was found dead at her home in Imperial Court, in Reading Road, Wokingham on April 7, 2015 after her friend and neighbour, Royston Wood, became suspicious when she did not come to the door or answer her phone.

She had confided to him about a year before her death that she had been diagnosed with the early stages of Parkinson's disease, a neurological condition that affects movement and causes shaking limbs and stiffness. 

Rather than suffer a "lingering, long death", she intended to take her own life and had bought a sample of a harmful chemical online as well as attending euthanasia seminars, asking Mr Wood not to tell anyone else of her plans. 

When he visited her on the evening of Sunday, April 5, she told him she was going to end her life the following evening, and he tried to change her mind. 

She said she would leave a note outside her front door for the concierge to find, though as she failed to do so, this initially gave Mr Wood a glimmer of hope when he first knocked on her door at 2am on the Tuesday morning to check on her.

When he let himself into her flat later with a key she had given him, he found her sat at her computer with her head slumped on the keyboard. 

Emergency services attended the scene and Ms Jacob was pronounced dead at 11.56am. 

Her GP Dr Win Hlaing, at Burma Hills Surgery, said that she had complained about muscle and leg pain two weeks before death but did not show any signs of depression and sounded her normal self. 

Coroner Peter Bedford, who recorded a verdict of suicide, said: "It is clear that Ms Jacob was an independent single lady, a bit of a loner, who was forthright in her beliefs. She was a lady of strong will with her mind made up who did not lack the capacity to make the decision to end her own life."

A toxicology report confirmed her death was caused by a fatal drug dose.