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