Man who shot wife feared jail — (The Tameside Advertiser)

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The Tameside Advertiser

 Adam Derbyshire

A MAN shot his estranged wife in the back of the head before turning the gun on himself.

Pauline Walsh was left lying in a pool of blood as she came out of her Droylsden flat to go to work at around 6.40 am on 28 July last year.

An inquest heard that her 47-year-old husband Brian had waited for her outside Egerton Mews after becoming depressed following the break-up of their marriage of more than 20 years.

The mum of four was rushed to hospital and surgeons managed to save her life. Her husband died after driving to a relative’s house in Openshaw and shooting himself on the Moravian churchyard in Wheeler Street in front of his brother Anthony. The inquest heard the lorry driver had earlier begged his brother to finish him off if he did not die instantly as he could not face the prospect of going to jail.

He had started a campaign of harassment against his wife and a work colleague when they split up.

It led to him being given a suspended jail sentence when he punched Mrs Walsh in the face, knocking out two of her front teeth.

Family members said he had on a number of occasions threatened to kill or shoot her and a man he thought she was involved in a relationship with, but that they thought it was nothing more than ‘idle threats’. In the weeks before the killing, the inquest was told he had seen a doctor for anti-depressants and told family he couldn’t cope any more. He told his mother he had bought a gun, but she said she didn’t believe him.

Describing the moment Brian killed himself, his brother Anthony said: “I didn’t see the gun at first because it was in his pocket. He said if it didn’t work, would I finish him off.”

He said Brian’s dad arrived and Brian hugged him and told him he loved him.

“I told my dad to go back to the house while I spoke to Brian. We were talking for a few seconds then he walked behind two containers and I heard the bang,” he said.

Verdict: suicide.