Devon

Retired soldier 'stabbed wife before gassing them both'

Jane and Graham McCartney Image copyright Irving
Image caption Graham McCartney stabbed his wife before fatally exposing them both to carbon monoxide poisoning

A retired soldier stabbed his wife with a serrated bread knife before fatally poisoning them both with carbon monoxide, an inquest has heard.

Graham McCartney stabbed his estranged wife Jane in her chest and arm at their home in Dalwood, Devon, in May 2015, the inquest was told.

He also connected the exhaust pipe of his MG car to the window of their rural bungalow.

Police discovered their bodies in the locked sitting room.

More on the inquest, and other Devon and Cornwall news

She had been wrapped in a duvet and the phones had been put out of her reach.

Assistant Devon coroner Luisa Nicholson concluded that Mrs McCartney was unlawfully killed by her husband who then killed himself.

She said "It is a double tragedy and heartbreaking and utterly incomprehensible, we will never know the full story that day."

Pathologist Dr Amanda Jeffery told the inquest that Mrs McCartney, 59, died from "the combined effect of the stab wounds to her chest and right arm and the carbon monoxide poisoning".

She concluded that Mr McCartney, 63, died from inhaling the fumes, and ruled out a suicide pact.

The inquest in Exeter heard evidence that Mrs McCartney, an accountant with Exeter University, was alive for 30 minutes after being stabbed.

Mr McCartney's son told the inquest his father had felt humiliated about the collapse of his marriage and hated the fact that people would know about the break-up.

Mr McCartney left his son a note reading, "I just cannot stand the humiliation anymore. Sorry, Dad."

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