Leeds & West Yorkshire

Allerton Bywater man killed wife and children

Geraldine, Shannon and Shane Newman Image copyright West Yorkshire Police
Image caption Geraldine Newman and her children Shannon and Shane were found dead in their home

A father who wrongly believed his wife was having an affair killed her and their two children before jumping from a cliff, an inquest heard.

Paul Newman, 42, hit Geraldine Newman, 51, over the head with a hammer and stabbed Shannon, 11, and Shane, six, at their home in West Yorkshire in 2016.

He then went to Holyhead, Anglesey, and jumped 240ft to his death.

The coroner concluded Mrs Newman, Shannon and Shane were unlawfully killed and Newman took his own life.

Wakefield Coroner's Court heard that his body was found at the foot of South Stack cliff, where he had proposed 17 years earlier.

Shortly before her death on 2 February 2016, Mrs Newman had sent a text message to a family member saying she was "terrified" of her husband.

Rita Farley, Newham's sister, told the inquest her brother was not a violent man until he saw text messages from other men on his wife's phone.

Newman - who had served a jail sentence for a two-day assault on his wife in 2013 - had been due to begin therapy for anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder and was on medication he felt was altering his behaviour, the inquest heard.

There was no evidence Mrs Newman had carried out a physical affair.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Police found the bodies of Mrs Newman and the children covered with duvets at the family home

A hammer was found next to Mrs Newman on the sofa, the inquest heard, and knives were found on a bed post and under the bed in the children's room at their home in Allerton Bywater.

Mrs Newman had at least three blows to her head from the hammer and the children had multiple stab wounds to their necks and chests.

Newman had left a three-page letter in the kitchen in which he wrote "I'm sorry" but did not admit he had killed his family, the inquest heard.

Coroner Kevin McLoughlin said: "The nature of the document is saying how much he treasured his children."

He described the deaths as an "enormous tragedy" and said "no-one foresaw what was to happen".

"We can see a relatively isolated gentleman, with some propensity to compulsive behaviour, being overwhelmed by a situation that was likely to deprive him of his children, who were so fundamentally important to him," Mr McLoughlin added.

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