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A coroner's inquest ruled that Lady Isobel Barnett, one...

LOUGHBOROUGH, England -- A coroner's inquest ruled that Lady Isobel Barnett, one of Britain's most popular television panelists of the 50s, who admitted being a compulsive shoplifter, killed herself with an overdose of painkillers.

Lady Barnett, 62, a one-time magistrate, was found dead in her bath Oct. 20. four days after being fined $180 and ordered to pay $480 court expenses for stealing a can of tuna and a carton of cream worth $2.

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Police testified she wore an extra spacious pocket, known as a 'poacher's pocket', inside her coat when caught stealing the groceries in a store near her home. Two days before her death, Lady Barnett told an interviewer she was a compulsive thief and had been shoplifting for years.

Lady Barnett -- the title came from her late husband -- sprang to nationwide celebrity over three decades for her appearances on radio and television panel games such as 'What's My Line' and 'Twenty Questions.'

Finding that Lady Barnett -- a physician -- killed herself deliberately with an overdose of arthritis painkiller, coroner Guy Tooze said, 'She had recently suffered one of the most traumatic experiences any woman could suffer.

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'I am satisfied she took a fatal overdose deliberately and knew what she was doing,' he said.

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