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The Daily Record
By Martin Fricker
18:50, 26 FEB 2014
UPDATED08:45, 27 FEB 2014
The bodies of pensioners Donald and Margaret Knight were discovered at their luxury £500,000 farmhouse by their horrified daughter
The bodies of pensioners Donald and Margaret Knight were discovered at their luxury £500,000 farmhouse by their horrified daughter.
Neighbours described them as “totally devoted” to each other and said they regularly went on lavish round-the-world cruises together.
He came clean about the affair to his GP just weeks before the tragedy at their home in Loddington, Northants, last May.
The inquest also heard that Donald, who used to own the Knights of Old haulage firm, was depressed because he wrongly thought he had cancer.
He shot his wife four times with a rifle before walking out into his back garden and blasting himself in the face.
Daughter Sarah, 49, found Margaret, who was wheelchair-bound following an operation, slumped in her chair in the lounge and called cops.
The hearing in Northampton was told the retired haulage boss had also shot dead the couple’s pet dachshund Daisy in the garden.
In the weeks before the tragedy he visited his GP and admitted to having the extra-marital affair with an unnamed woman.
Dr Joanne Warcaba said he confessed to seeing another woman but had ended the affair after two weeks.
She said: “Mr Knight was clinically depressed and I prescribed him anti-depressants to deal with this feeling.”
The hearing was told Donald was also struggling to cope with running the couple’s farm and admitted he had thought about committing suicide.
Daughter Sarah told how despite her father being financially well off he was convinced he was running out of money and wanted to downsize properties.
She said Donald – who was his wife’s full time carer – had also convinced himself he had cancer despite being in good health.
“My father was worried about the finances but he could afford to do whatever they wanted,” she added.
“He had convinced himself they were running out of money.
“He had mood swings and he got old very quickly and was worried the farm was too big and wanted to down size to a bungalow.”
Northamptonshire Coroner Anne Pember recorded a verdict that Mary had been unlawfully killed while Donald had killed himself.
She said: “I believe when Mr Knight was feeling low and depressed, not only did he take his own life, I believe he made a decision that his wife, of whom he was the main carer, that she should die as well on her birthday.
“At a time in his life when Donald Knight was feeling low he did not wish to live and he killed himself.”