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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 October 2006, 18:44 GMT 19:44 UK
Man killed wife before cliff jump
A 60-year-old stabbed his wife to death before jumping off a cliff because he was depressed about his marriage, an inquest has heard.

Dennis Wimpory, 60, attacked his wife Jean, 57, with a six-inch knife at their Braywick Road home in Maidenhead, Berkshire, in May.

He then drove to Beachy Head near Eastbourne, Sussex, where he threw himself from a 530ft (160m) cliff.

The coroner recorded a verdict of suicide and one of unlawful killing.

Sitting in Windsor, Berkshire Coroner Peter Bedford, said Mr Wimpory, who was struggling to cope with the break-up of his 34-year-old marriage and "may well have snapped".

He had not told anyone about it. He found the situation embarrassing and his pride was hurt
Daughter Karen

The inquest heard he had been diagnosed as suffering from depression.

The couple's daughter Nicola, then aged 28, described her father as "quiet and uncomfortable in social situations", never violent but "physically intimidating".

She told the inquest he had been devastated, becoming "anxious and depressed", when his wife announced that she wanted a separation and had the family home valued.

Daughter Karen, then aged 25, told the inquest: "He had not told anyone about it. He found the situation embarrassing and his pride was hurt."

'Real state'

She told the coroner that three days before his death Mr Wimpory had travelled to Sussex and speaking to her over the phone he told her: "I was heading to Beachy Head to see if I had the courage to throw myself off."

She said he called again on the 18 May "in a real state - he was packing and unpacking everything he had. He thought that he was losing it," she said.

Later that evening Mrs Wimpory telephoned her daughter to say they had been to see a doctor.

The call was the last known contact between Mrs Wimpory and another person before she was killed.

Mr Wimpory's car was found abandoned at Beachy Head and his body was later found near the foot of the cliffs.

Unexpected attack

Police traced the registration of the car to the couple's home where Mrs Wimpory was discovered lying face down in a large pool of blood.

A post-mortem examination found that she had been stabbed at least five times to the neck area from behind or to one side.

Mr Bedford said: "It's very clear to me from the evidence that Mr Wimpory did not cope well with this change in circumstances. He became depressed and appeared to present a picture of a broken man."

He said Mr Wimpory's attack on his wife would have been "sudden and completely unexpected".

"This is a tragic awful story, but I do believe that there's nothing family members or friends could have done," Mr Bedford added.


SEE ALSO
Murder detectives link two deaths
23 May 06 |  Berkshire

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