Retiree killed wife and self after dog died
A retired company director is believed to have killed his ex-wife and then hanged himself during a row after her beloved pet dog died, an inquest heard today, writes Jennifer Cockerell.
Donald and Audrey Taylor divorced twice, "but couldn't live without one another", their daughter Karen Melhuish said.
A coroner recorded verdicts of unlawful killing and suicide on the couple's bodies, found in their former marital home in Collington Rise, Bexhill-on-sea, East Sussex, on February 16.
The inquest at Hastings Magistrates' Court heard that Mrs Taylor (75) received two blows to her head but died from strangulation while Mr Taylor (80) died from hanging.
Mrs Melhuish said that she believed the fact that forensic tests on Rowan the dog could not find a cause of death meant that it died of natural causes, which would have led her mother to become "distraught".
"I think he would have taken whatever she said personally, which would have lit the fuse."