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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 January 2008, 12:08 GMT
Bail hearing 'properly conducted'
Gary Weddell
Gary Weddell's body was found in woodland
A judge's decision to grant bail to a murder suspect was "properly conducted" a coroner has said.

The Bedford and Luton Coroner was speaking as he opened the inquest into the death of suspected double killer, former Met Officer Gary Weddell, 47.

Police believe Mr Weddell killed his mother-in-law before shooting himself while awaiting trial for the murder of his wife, Sandra.

The coroner said senior judges had reviewed a bail hearing transcript.

He said the senior judges had made "no criticism" of their colleague.

Shotgun blast

Judge John Bevan QC was criticised after it emerged that he released Mr Weddell on 200,000 bail despite prosecution objections.

Court transcriptions containing discussions of the decision to release Mr Weddell from custody will be published on Thursday.

A judge is also to decide whether Mr Weddell's brother, barrister Geoffrey Weddell, who put up the surety, should pay back the 200,000.

During the inquest in Bedford, coroner David Morris revealed Mr Weddell, whose body was found at a Hertfordshire shooting club earlier this month, died from a shotgun blast to the head.

He added that Mr Weddell's mother-in-law, Traute Maxfield, 70, who was found at her home ten miles away, died from shotgun wounds to her groin and neck.

Mr Morris adjourned the hearing and said a full inquest into the deaths of Gary Weddell, his wife and his mother-in-law would be held on 18 March.

The case file concerning the murder charge Mr Weddell was facing was earlier formally closed at Cambridge Crown Court.

Gary Weddell had been charged with murder but released on bail

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