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Husband sobbed at police probe over help to end his life

Final farewell: Ann Whaley with her husband Geoff who died yesterday

THE wife of a terminally ill pensioner who ended his life at a Dignitas clinic yesterday said their final weeks were marred by police.

Ann Whaley, 76, said it was ‘ridiculous’ Thames Valley Police were forced to investigate after receiving a tip that her husband Geoff, 80, was planning to die in Switzerland.

The retired accountant, who had motor neurone disease, ended his life surrounded by family at the clinic rather than face a slow death.

But the couple, from Chalfont St Peter, in Buckinghamshire, were visited by police last month, warning Mrs Whaley that she risked up to 14 years in prison for helping him.

She told The Times: ‘I wasn’t frightened because I didn’t feel like I’d done anything wrong. I wasn’t ashamed. I was cross.

‘My whole attitude throughout Geoffrey’s illness is that I’m here to protect him from all the slings and arrows from the outside world so that he can enjoy the time he’s here. It was so ridiculous to put us through this when he is in the final few days of life.’

She added: ‘In 52 years of married life, Geoff has never cried but that day he put his head down and sobbed. That made me very angry.’

The force has now dropped the case ‘pending any further information coming to light’.

In a letter to MPs released after his death, Mr Whaley called for a change in the law. He said the ban in the UK on assisted dying means he has spent thousands of pounds, faced ‘logistical hurdles’ and visits from police ‘to secure a peaceful and dignified death overseas’.