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Sunday, 20 November 2016

Pensioner shot wife dead




A pensioner shot his wife dead before turning gun on himself after he 'couldn't cope' with her dementia diagnosis, an inquest hears.

Two deaths that were avoidable if budget cuts had not affect Healthcare Services.  Mr Postlethwaite, could have accessed help and support but felt he was unable.

A retired farmer, who shot his wife dead before turning the gun on himself, left a note saying he couldn't cope with looking after her following her dementia diagnosis, an inquest has heard. 

The bodies of Graham and Maureen Postlethwaite were found at their Merstham home on June 15 last year after concerned neighbours called the police. Officers forced their way into the home and discovered the body of Graham, 77, at the foot of the stairs and Maureen, 80, in her bed - with a bullet wound in her head.

Woking Coroner's Court heard on Tuesday how Maureen was having problems with memory loss while Graham was feeling "overwhelmed" looking after her. In May 2015, her GP referred her for further tests after it was suspected she was suffering from dementia.

Surrey Police investigating case officer Rachel Williams said: "On the kitchen table, there was a 2015 diary that Graham wrote in what [food to make] and listed Maureen's medication and a description of how she was doing in March and her ability to function on a daily basis. There was a 2014 diary with items on what he was doing working at the farm and [in] one entry at the beginning of 2015, he wrote what he expected the doctor would say about Maureen about how her memory was not doing very well. She didn't think she was doing that bad. There was also an A4 piece of paper that had a large note saying 'Help' and 'I thought there was a way out but there wasn't'."

The court was read out written statements including one from Bernie Selby, a former colleague of Graham's, who said during a visit in May, Maureen did not recognise him [Bernie] and Graham "was in a terrible state". Maureen and Graham married in Merstham in 1976. One of Graham's family members said they had a "loving relationship", but also described them as a "private couple". Graham was interested in guns as a hobby and was "very strict" on gun security. He was a licensed gun holder, the inquest heard. Coroner Anna Crawford said: "I have heard evidence and I believe there is no third party involvement and no evidence Maureen was killed in self-defence. She was lying on her side and she was shot in the back of her head which was not consistent with her having killed herself. I have considered the notes and the diary. There is evidence that Graham felt overwhelmed. I am sure Graham killed Maureen unlawfully and intended to kill her. Maureen was found deceased on June 15, 2015, and was deliberately shot in the head." She added: "I have considered the evidence and I have come to conclusion Graham shot himself with the intention of taking his own life on June 15. I offer my sincere condolences for the family and the friends of the deceased." The coroner recorded a verdict of unlawful killing in relation to Maureen and suicide in relation to Graham
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