‘Depressed’ farmer killed wife — (The Birmingham Post)

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The Birmingham Post

00:01, 14 May 2005  Updated 04:33, 31 May 2013

By Birmingham Post

An elderly farmer blasted his wife with a shotgun before turning the weapon on himself after becoming depressed during the sale of his smallholding, an inquest heard yesterday.

Fred Jobson, aged 75, was also worried about his health in the weeks before he killed his 74-year-old wife Nancy and then shot himself at their farmhouse, Worcestershire Coroner’s Court was told.

The couple – who had lived at Brooklea Farm, near Broadway, Worcestershire, for 47 years – died on September 7 last year.

They had both suffered a single gunshot wound to the chest and their bodies were found between the side of the house and a fuel bunker.

Giving evidence from the witness box, the couple’s daughters, Janette Rowlatt and Pamela Jarvie, both told the hearing how their father had spoken of ending his life with a gun.

Mrs Jarvie told the inquest in Stourport-on-Severn: “They lived a very quiet, country sort of life.

“Daddy became increasingly fed up and he just decided he wanted to move.”

The court heard that the tragedy happened shortly before Mr and Mrs Jobson were due to move to a bungalow because Mr Jobson found it difficult to maintain the farmhouse to his high standards.

Mrs Rowlatt told the court: “My father found it very difficult growing old and as he got older he found it more difficult to keep the property in a condition to which he was accustomed.

“The house was very modest, but the grounds and gardens were his pride and joy.”

A statement from Mr Jobson’s GP revealed that he had been prescribed anti-depressants, although he had stopped taking them at the time of his death.

The farmer was also convinced, wrongly, that he had a serious heart condition.

The Assistant Deputy Coroner for Worcestershire, Nigel Garbutt, said he was satisfied from the evidence that Mr Jobson had unlawfully killed his wife and taken his own life whilst the balance of his mind was disturbed.

Speculating as to Mr Jobson’s motives, the coroner said: “It’s clear that he had tremendous strengths – he built up a family and he built up a business.

“He looked after his farm and home and I think difficulties arose when he was unable to continue that high standard and that upset him.

“I am quite clear that the balance of his mind was disturbed in this explosion of anger.”