Retired painter and decorator, 71, struggling with lockdown stabbed wife to death then killed himself in latest coronavirus killings
- Alan Smith, 71, found dead alongside wife, Elsie, 71, at home near Cambridge
- Elsie found with stab wounds to her neck and head and Smith was dead on bed
- Couple’s neighbours revealed Smith was worried about coronavirus lockdown
A retired painter and decorator has reportedly stabbed his wife to death before killing himself while struggling to cope with coronavirus lockdown, an inquest heard.
Alan Smith, 71, was discovered dead alongside his wife, Elsie, 71, in their home near Cambridge last Wednesday.
Elsie was found with stab wounds to her neck and head while Smith was found dead on his bed.
Alan Smith, 71, was discovered dead alongside his wife, Elsie, 71, in their home near Cambridge last Wednesday (pictured)
Her injuries were determined to be not self-inflicted and police are not looking for anyone in connection with her murder.
Smith’s cause of death wasn’t found but Elsie’s was noted as the stab wounds to her neck and head.
The couple’s neighbours spoke of how Smith had confided in them about his fears to do with lockdown – including not being able to go to the shops and running out of food.
He was allegedly also worried about not being able to get his medication.
Dennis Kingsley, 76, who lives two doors away said last week: ‘They were a nice couple who had been here for ages. I saw them last Monday as they were going out to the shops and I said ”hello” to them, but I didn’t see them coming back.
‘I had heard that they were worried about getting what they wanted in the shops because of things selling out. They never used to get food delivered, so they had to go out and get things that they needed. It would have been difficult for them.
‘I also heard that he had been worried about getting his tablets. I know that he had an illness. This whole coronavirus thing could easily have driven him over the edge.
‘But we just don’t know for sure what happened. The police have not told us anything.’
Another local resident Joanne Thomas said: ‘I would see them walking up the road most mornings, but I can’t recall seeing them so much recently. They were a very nice, friendly couple.
‘He would get everyone’s bins and move them back to the right houses every Monday after the binmen came.
Robert Needham, 42, (pictured with family) is suspected to have shot dead his wife, Kelly Fitzgibbons, 40, and their two daughters, Ava, four, and Lexi, two, before turning the gun on himself
‘It was a bit of a worry to hear that they had died in the house, but the police have been telling us that nobody else was involved.’
Their separate inquests have been adjourned until a later date.
A few other alleged murder-suicides have also been reported since the UK went under coronavirus lockdown two weeks ago.
It comes after a government minister warned that lockdown would do more harm than coronavirus because of a rise in domestic abuse, unemployment and mental ill health.
Robert Needham, 42, is suspected to have shot dead his wife, Kelly Fitzgibbons, 40, and their two daughters, Ava, four, and Lexi, two, before turning the gun on himself.
The family were found dead at their home in Woodmancote, West Sussex, last Sunday, and it is believed that Needham had become stressed over money worries due to the coronavirus.
And on Sunday in Hemel Hempstead a mother and daughter were stabbed to death before the body of the father was found in the wreckage of a house fire.
Caroline Walker, 50, and her 24-year-old daughter, Katie, were found with stab wounds while father Gary, 57, died in the fire.
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