Greenock hotel deaths: Suicide pact suspected

POLICE are investigating whether a mother and daughter who died after being found injured in a hotel had made a suicide pact.
Margaret McDonough and Nicola McDonough are suspected to have died in a suicide pact. Picture: submittedMargaret McDonough and Nicola McDonough are suspected to have died in a suicide pact. Picture: submitted
Margaret McDonough and Nicola McDonough are suspected to have died in a suicide pact. Picture: submitted

• Police investigating the possibility that deaths of mother and daughter were result of suicide pact

• Involvement of thid party ruled out by authorities as paracetomol overdose also suspected

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• Margaret McDonough, 52, and Nicola McDonough, 23, both died after suffering serious injuries

Officers believe it is possible that Margaret McDonough, 52, who was found fatally injured at the hotel in Greenock, and her daughter, Nicola, 23, who succumbed to her injuries days later, took their own lives.

Margaret was found in a bedroom at the Premier Inn on Friday at 7am and died a short time later.

Her daughter was discovered in a corridor. She was taken to hospital, but never recovered and died on Monday.

Both women were found with slash wounds, but police have not said whether these injuries indicate an attack or a suicide attempt.

It is understood that both women had also taken large amounts of painkillers.

Detectives are currently not looking for anyone else, but have been reluctant to narrow the investigation further by saying they are focusing solely on a suicide pact.

Police Scotland detectives leading the investigation will meet today to discuss progress. They were also expecting to talk to other family members yesterday or today.

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Asked if they were investigating a suicide pact, a Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “It’s a line of inquiry that we’re looking at. At this stage, we can’t rule it out.

“It is one of the lines we are looking at, but there’s a couple of possible scenarios.”

Police had previously pinned their hopes on speaking to Nicola to find out what had happened at the hotel, but her death has raised the possibility that the full events will remain unknown.

Police have been focusing on the pair’s final hours, particularly the time between leaving the hotel on Thursday evening and returning between 12:30am and 1am the following morning.

Officers would like to speak to anyone who saw the McDonoughs’ car – a red Suzuki Swift, registration SL56 CBF – in the Paisley or Greenock area on Thursday and Friday, and any friends who might have spoken to them during this time.

They were in the car when last seen in Paisley, before checking into the hotel 25 miles away.

Margaret separated from her husband Thomas in 2008, after 28 years.

He rushed to his daughter’s hospital bedside after she was found.

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Police have said that Mr McDonough, and Nicola’s siblings – Kevin, 43, Michael, 31, Matthew, 20, and Margaret – are struggling to come to terms with their deaths.

Detective Inspector David Wagstaff of Police Scotland said: “This has obviously been a difficult and traumatic time for the family. Firstly, they had to cope with Margaret’s death and now Nicola’s, with little time to grieve.

“We will continue to make every effort to find answers for the family.”

Nicola graduated from the University of the West of Scotland with a BA (Hons) in social work in April, and was a former pupil of St Andrew’s Academy in Paisley. Margaret was a mother of five and a foster carer. She had twice stood as a Lib Dem candidate in council elections.

In a leaflet handed out to voters, she told how she “sees first- hand the needs of very vulnerable children in her care and their families, and would like to be able to take some of that knowledge into the decision-making processes of the council”.