A DEVOTED couple died in a suicide pact which included killing their five dogs.
The couple left a note on their window sill saying: "Please be careful, there may be Fentanyl in the dog bowls”.
Police arriving at the scene had to seal off the property until it was deemed safe to enter.
Ex-paratrooper Francis Collins and his student nurse wife Cassie were found dead on September 11, 2021, at their home in Cullompton.
Cassie left a USB video in which she told her devastated family that she would “not be in pain anymore”.
The inquest heard Francis would have had to kill himself if anything happened to Cassie because she was “everything to him”.
The 35 year-old had suffered chronic knee pain after hurting herself while dancing and then later suffered a crippling back injury falling off a motor bike in Thailand where they were then living.
She had suffered chronic pain for years and the inquest heard she wanted to escape the pain which left her in a wheelchair and a prisoner in her own home.
Francis also suffered from agonising back pain but had ended up in prison for fire-bombing his neighbour's home in Wales following a row over a plot of land.
Francis, whose SAS father killed himself when his son was just 10 years-old, began a year-long campaign of harassment against his neighbours in Carmarthenshire in 2019.
Collins (36), and his wife later moved away from their eco-smallholding to Devon where they lived in a three-bedroomed bungalow with their dogs.
In the hours before they carried out the pact Cassie posted letters to her family to say: "I cannot cope anymore."
When her family arrived at their home, they found Francis hanged in the hallway and Cassie dead in bed cuddling the three smallest dogs, who were also dead.
The two Dobermann dogs they also owned had been taken to a vets to be put down shortly before because they didn't want anyone else to care for them.
An inquest at Exeter Coroner's Court was told Cassie died from the combined toxic effects of Fentanyl - a drug 50-100 times more powerful than morphine - and other drugs.
Francis died from hanging and he left a number of suicide notes at the scene.
Cassie's sister Jodie said the couple were “very close” and “always together”.
She told the coroner that they were soul mates who were devoted to each other and their pets.
Area coroner Alison Longhorn said both suffered with dreadful pain and both struggled with the neighbours’ dispute in Wales and the police investigation.
She said there was also a new police investigation into an alleged assault on a young family member by Francis, who suffered with depression, and Cassie was very worried that he may end up in jail again.
She said both prepared for their deaths before they committed suicide in what she called “particularly tragic circumstances”.