Devon man stabbed wife to death before killing himself in ‘extremely unusual case’ — (North Devon Journal)

SSRI Ed note: Happily married retiree, 79, stabs wife to death with no warning,overdoses on medication and alcohol and cuts himself. Stress of home construction blamed.

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North Devon Journal

Posted: November 12, 2015

A DEVON pensioner stabbed his wife to death while she was asleep before attempting to take his own life, an inquest has heard.

Retired dockyard worker, Ted Perring attacked wife Gloria, 76, while she was asleep in bed at their Tamerton Foliot home in Plymouth, and then tried to cut himself and overdosed on alcohol and prescription medication.

Neighbours found Mr Perring, 79, unconscious in the lounge as his wife lay dead upstairs, and he died in hospital 10 days later.

The inquest heard Mr and Mrs Perring had no underlying medical conditions and had been happy together, but Mr Perring had become stressed and anxious in the weeks leading up to the incident due to building work taking place on the outside of their house.

Senior Coroner Ian Arrow said: “It appears that for some reason he has taken a knife to the bedroom and there assaulted his wife.

“This must have been a very unusual thing to have happened, because there was no indication that it was ever going to happen.

“Having assaulted his wife, it then seems that he has taken a considerable amount of alcohol, cut himself and then taken a mix of pharmaceutical products.”

Mr Arrow said Mr Perring then opened a cupboard in the bedroom, removed financial documents and funeral deeds, and lay them out on the dining room table.

“In my view he expected these to be found after his death,” he said.

“He has then sat on the front room sofa and seems to have succumbed to such a degree that he lapsed into a coma.”

The coroner recorded that Mrs Perring was unlawfully killed, and that Mr Perring took his own life.

“This is a terrible thing that has happened,” Mr Arrow added.