BA Concorde pilot killed his dementia sufferer wife in an 'act of compassion' then took his own life, coroner rules

THE Queen's British Airways Concorde pilot who killed his dementia-stricken wife was an "act of compassion", a coroner has ruled.

Tony Meadows, 84, and wife Paula, 83, were discovered dead at their £1.3million farm house near Bucklebury, Berks – just two miles from Kate Middleton’s family home.

Their couple died together in their home in April 2019 due to asphyxiation a Home Office pathologist ruled.

Stunned pals described Tony, who had piloted for the Queen, as a devoted father-of-three and revealed Paula had been battling with dementia.

He had been "struggling" to care for his wife after the pair celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

Assistant coroner Ian Wade QC called the case "desperately sad".

The inquest heard that Mrs Meadows had been in "absolute agony" due to back pain in the weeks running up to the couple's bodies being discovered at their home in Pot Kiln Lane on 2 April.

Mr Wade said Mr Meadows committed suicide and Mrs Meadows died after being unlawfully killed by her husband.

In my opinion daddy killed mummy because her life was dreadful… I don' think he wanted to live without her.

He said: "I find she died as a result of the deliberate intervention by her adoring and concerned husband Tony.

"That he decided that he would go against nature and he took informed deliberate steps to end his wife's life – I'm quite sure out of compassion…

"I stress it is an act of love in my view and not a malignant act."

Their daughter Nicola Meadows that she noticed her dad was "quite depressed" the last time she saw them both.

She said: "In my opinion daddy killed mummy because her life was dreadful… I don' think he wanted to live without her.

"They were married for 61 years and loved each other."

The inquest heard that Mr Meadows had been planning his and his wife's death for a few days.

Tony served as a captain with British Airways and flew some of the first commercial Concorde flights.


He was co-pilot on inaugural trip from Heathrow to New York in December 1977 and took full control on the return leg.

Writing about it in 2017, he said: “Life for me was very exciting in 1977.”

Tony was also at the helm for the first Concorde flight to Singapore weeks later.

In 1979, he flew the Queen on the supersonic jet and has also piloted planes with Princess Diana on board.

Thames Valley Police said officers were called to the property at around 7.35pm on Tuesday and officers discovered that a woman and a man, both in their eighties, had died.

Detectives have cordoned off the couple’s £1million farmhouse which has outbuildings and a duck house.

A blue police tent and forensic lights remained on the driveway of their house today and a police car was parked outside after the double tragedy.

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