Wife hit with hammer

Home of Julie and David Connaughton
Home of Julie and David Connaughton
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A jilted husband bludgeoned his wife to death with a hammer before stabbing himself 28 times, an inquest heard.

After discovering his wife’s plan to divorce him, David Connaughton, aged 60, waited for wife Julie, 57, to go to bed before striking her at least 22 times across her head.

Julie Connaughton

Julie Connaughton

He then killed himself after repeatedly stabbing himself in his abdomen.

Chesterfield Coroners Court heard that in the weeks leading up to the attack, Mr Connaughton researched murder online.

Police officers discovered the couple in a blood bath on their bed at their home in Chesterfield after Mrs Connaughton’s daughter Emily Corless had not been able to get into their barricaded room.

Detective Constable Tony Owen, of Derbyshire Constabulary, said: “We got a call from Emily Corless saying she was trying to get in touch and couldn’t open the bedroom door and was concerned something had happened.

“Officers forced the door which was blocked by a large piece of furniture and found two deceased people in the room.”

A post mortem examination revealed Mr Connaugton had died a number of hours after his wife and her injuries were consistent with defence wounds.

Det Con Owen added: “We knew Julie and David were having marital problems and were almost leading separate lives. We were aware she had started a new relationship and from speaking to family David had anxiety and was concerned he was losing Julie and would be made homeless.”

Assistant coroner Paul McCandless recorded a suicide verdict for Mr Connaughton and unlawful death for his wife, describing it as murder.

Commenting on Mr Connaughton’s death he said: “Due to the degree and overwhelming number of injuries there can be no issue about Mr Connaughton’s intent to bring about his death as an extreme and deadly reaction to the crossroads they had reached in their relationship.”