Win £1,000 with Camelot. See this week's Ham & High

on sale 15th October

Partner of Sussie Ahlburg committed suicide after she drowned at Hampstead Heath pond

16:11 03 March 2014

Matthew Fretton appeared on the cover of Smash Hits magazine in 1983

Matthew Fretton appeared on the cover of Smash Hits magazine in 1983


A former pop star committed suicide after his photographer partner tragically drowned on Hampstead Heath, an inquest has heard.

Sussie AhlburgSussie Ahlburg

Matthew Fretton, 49, took his own life at home in Suffolk on October 29 last year, less than three months after his partner Sussie Ahlburg drowned while swimming in the Kenwood Ladies’ Bathing Pond on August 4.

Suffolk coroner Peter Dean said Mr Fretton “had become very withdrawn after this” at an inquest at Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court last week.

“It is clear that the loss of his partner had been a significant loss for Mr Fretton,” he added.

The coroner recorded a verdict of suicide, with the cause of death given as asphyxia.

Mr Fretton performed on Top of the Pops and featured on the cover of Smash Hits magazine in the 1980s, when his single It’s So High reached number 50 in the charts.

He also supported bands such as Depeche Mode and Eurythmics, before becoming an agent for classical musicians.

He had returned to songwriting and started work on a new album a few months before his death.

Ms Ahlburg, 51, was a successful photographer whose portraits of classical musicians had featured in publications such as Vogue, the Wall Street Journal and the Ham&High.

She had a heart condition and had been warned not to swim in “open water” by a cardiologist.

She disappeared under the water on August 4, unnoticed by two lifeguards, and her body was recovered the following day.


Latest News Stories

The Phoenix cinema in East Finchley is due to host a number of films for the UK Jewish Film Festival

Barnet Council has come under attack after becoming the only local authority in the country to charge a popular jewish film festival for screening their films.


Police have urged residents to make homes more secure after a spate of burglaries in Highgate and Dartmouth Park.

The London Ambulance Service has seen a significant rise in mental health calls

A significant spike in the number of emergency mental health calls received by the London Ambulance Service (LAS) has led it to employ specialist nurses in its call centre.

The tree has blocked the road south of the A1. Picture: MPSBarnet

Motorists are being advised to avoid The Bishops Avenue in Hampstead Garden Suburb due to a fallen tree.

Yesterday, 19:00
Travellers arriving at the Liddell Road industrial estate Picture by local resident, 'Jon'

Tory Party candidates claim travellers hurled rocks at them as they tried to take pictures of the site where they have set up home.

Yesterday, 17:27
Friends of Parkland walk  bramble bash campaign Pictured Alison Gardiner,Emma Walmsley,Robert Laslett,Dave Charie & Cathy Meeus

Volunteers armed themselves with shears to cut back brambles on a beloved nature reserve.

Yesterday, 15:53
Children's March for Barnet Libraries. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Campaigners have expressed their dismay as a new wave of cuts proposed by Barnet Council could see libraries left unmanned and forced to run largely by volunteers.

Yesterday, 12:00
Vet Allan Rapley with Highgate councillors Liz Morris and Clive Carter urge Haringey to clean up its act. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Residents and campaigners have spoken out against “Third World” piles of rubbish on Highgate High Street.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


Angharad Baa Stool in Rare Breed.

Great British Life is offering a sheepskin footstool worth £199 to a lucky reader

Amazon: Everything you want to buy all in one place!

With £1,500 to spend online at Amazon, there’s really nothing you can’t buy.

You'll be stocked up on toiletries  for a while!

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more.

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder