A retired magistrate whose husband was initially arrested on suspicion of her murder died accidentally from falling down the stairs, an inquest has decided.
Frances Lee’s third husband, Rodger, spent a day in police custody before CCTV evidence proved he was outside their home drinking lager and smoking after they had ‘a blazing row’.
The couple’s troubled marriage had initially cast suspicion on Mr Lee, now 67, after he discovered his wife’s body lying at the foot of the stairs in their semi-detached home in Norbreck Road, Warmsworth, Doncaster.
But detectives accepted Mrs Lee, who had also been drinking, must have fallen down the stairs, fracturing her skull, while her husband was sitting in his car on the driveway.
Mrs Lee, aged 70, a retired lab technician at Sir Thomas Wharton Community College in Edlington, was a regular churchgoer and Warmsworth library volunteer who was well regarded in the community. Her body was found by Mr Lee in the early hours of March 12 last year, after the former policeman woke in his car and decided to go back into the house.
Recording a conclusion of accidental death, Assistant Coroner Geoffrey Saul said there was no evidence Mrs Lee had been unlawfully killed. Her son, Andrew Till, said he agreed.