Former minister Owen Paterson launches bid to shut down websites after wife ...

MP Owen Paterson has vowed to help stop the creation of websites that encourage suicide after his wife killed herself five months ago after accessing such a site.

Paterson called the websites 'horribly inviting' and has said he is investigating 'any way anything can be done'.    

Rose Paterson, who was 64 and chairman of Aintree Racecourse, took her own life in woodland close to the couple's home near Ellesmere, Shropshire in June.  

She gave no clue she was planning to take her own life before hanging herself in the woods. But she had researched suicide on the internet, it was later discovered.     

Mr Paterson told The Sunday Express: 'These sites use incredibly seductive language, very measured narrative and are horribly inviting.'              

Opening day of the Grand National Festival at Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool, Merseyside. Owen Paterson with wife Rose Ridley walk the course

Opening day of the Grand National Festival at Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool, Merseyside. Owen Paterson with wife Rose Ridley walk the course

He is also focussing into the possible effect of Covid on mental health.

He and his wife contracted coronavirus at the beginning of the lockdown and he was ill for weeks, but his wife recovered far more quickly.

He said he was pondering if the virus could have had an effect on her mental health.

'Rose didn't do being ill and with the family at home she rallied round and seemed to get better far sooner than I did.

Owen Paterson and his wife Rose taking part in the Mongol Derby in 2011

Owen Paterson and his wife Rose taking part in the Mongol Derby in 2011

The wife of Tory MP Owen Paterson, Rose Paterson, pictured together, died from suicide on July 24

The wife of Tory MP Owen Paterson, Rose Paterson, pictured together, died from suicide on July 24 

Paterson told MailOnline of the 'unimaginable anguish' his family is suffering in the wake of their heartbreaking loss and said the desk of his 'best friend' Rose has remained untouched since the day she died. 

'But ongoing research into the virus shows that, while it has a bigger, physical effect on men, women are disproportionately affected neurologically. Some it seems have had mini strokes and others behavioural changes.

Mrs Paterson was the chairman of Aintree Racecourse

Mrs Paterson was the chairman of Aintree Racecourse

 Her grieving husband, MP for North Shropshire, is now embarking on a mission to help build Britain's suicide prevention strategies as he struggles to come to terms with her death. 

Paterson said if he can do something to save at least a single life, his quest will be worthwhile.

'I shall be working at both local and national level to build suicide prevention strategies and support those organisations offering help to people with mental health issues.

'There are organisations in Shropshire that are there 24 hours a day to help. 

An inquest into Mrs Paterson's death heard her computer history revealed she had searched websites on the subject of suicide in the days before her death. 

He said he had met the coroner John Ellery who officiated over the inquest into his wife's death and had established that there had been 39 suicides in Shropshire in 2020.

Mr Paterson also held talks with the mental health charity, Shropshire Mind and the Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire Suicide Prevention Network.

He said he feared the Covid restrictions will affect the mental health of many people and appealed to anyone feeling down or unhappy to tell someone.

'Nothing, absolutely nothing justifies taking your own life.

'The effect it has on family and friends is absolutely catastrophic and life lasting. If I can prevent just one other family going through this, it will be worthwhile.' 

Chairman of Aintree Racecouse Rose Paterson. The wife of Conservative former cabinet minister Owen Paterson

Chairman of Aintree Racecouse Rose Paterson. The wife of Conservative former cabinet minister Owen Paterson

He was

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