Pensioner dies after suicide pact with wife
William Ainscow, 75, and his wife Wendy swallowed a cocktail of drugs then jumped into the sea at a tourist beach in the south of the island.
However, a passer-by raised the alarm and emergency services managed to save Mrs Ainscow, 64.
Mr Ainscow was jailed for 18 months last January for stealing 50,000 while working as a postmaster, but was freed three months later after an appeal judge heard he was driven to take the money because of the demands of his daughter, Lisa, who has Asperger syndrome, a form of autism.
After his release, the Ainscows said they had attempted to commit suicide together in Wales and Mr Ainscow, a former Ministry of Defence official and oceanographer, said "it might be something we consider again in the future".
He said being sent to prison meant he had had "the easy end of it", describing coping with his daughter as "a jail sentence with hard labour" for his wife.
Mrs Ainscow was last night in a psychiatric ward of a Tenerife hospital, while British consular officials attempting to contact her next of kin said her daughter was the only relative they could find.
Police on Tenerife had been searching for the couple after receiving a warning from Interpol that they were on their way and planned to kill themselves. The couple had left a note at home telling of their plans.
The couple, who recently moved from Birkenhead near Liverpool to the Birmingham area, are thought to have arrived on the island on Monday and then waded into the sea at the popular Los Cristianos beach on Tuesday night. It is thought they had taken a large amount of betablockers and anti-depressants.
Emergency services arrived to find Mr Ainscow dead and Mrs Ainscow unconscious and in a serious condition. She is now said to be out of danger.
A spokesman for the police on Tenerife said the couple had not checked into a hotel when they arrived, making it difficult for officers to find them.
" They left what little they had brought with them to Tenerife on the beach at Los Cristianos before wading into the sea at about 9pm on Tuesday night," he said.
"The woman herself has said she took a whole load of tablets."
The spokesman said once Mrs Ainscow had recovered she would be allowed home and would not face any criminal charges. "What we’re dealing with is a terrible tragedy. The dead man’s wife is getting all the help she needs," he said.
An Interpol spokesman said: "The couple’s daughter reported them missing to West Midlands Police on Saturday and told them her parents had gone to Spain to commit suicide. Apparently they’d left some sort of notes saying what they were going to be doing."