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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 May 2007, 16:35 GMT 17:35 UK
Chef killed Pc girlfriend in flat
Pc Melissa Ward
PC Ward was six months away from graduating to full officer status
A 33-year-old man stabbed his police officer girlfriend to death before killing himself, an inquest heard.

The bodies of Melissa Ward, 28, of Oakham, Rutland, and Benedict Marlow, 33, from the West Midlands, were found at the trainee Pc's flat on 5 January.

Post-mortem examinations found the officer had been stabbed nine times.

Rutland and North Leics coroner Trevor Kirkman recorded a verdict of unlawful killing on Miss Ward and said Mr Marlow died "at his own hands".

Lost job

Mr Marlow died from two wounds to the abdomen and chest. It is thought their bodies had been lying in the kitchen since New Year's Eve.

The inquest at Loughborough Town Hall heard the chef had lost his job at the Blue Boar public house in Braunston days before the incident.

Det Sgt Richard Alexander told the inquest that Mr Marlow had told fellow revellers that his life was "a mess" and "he had issues he needed to sort out".

The couple were not seen alive after New Year's Eve.

'Beautiful daughter'

Pathologist Guy Rutty, who conducted the post-mortem examinations said Miss Ward had been the victim of a knife attack and Mr Marlow's injuries were self-inflicted.

Speaking after the hearings on Wednesday, Derek Ward, the trainee officer's father, said: "An act of mindless, wicked violence has robbed our family of our darling girl, Melissa, a lovely, caring and beautiful daughter and sister.

"Melissa was enjoying her career as a police officer. She was full of life and fun and was needlessly snatched from those who loved and respected her most.

"We have been left with a never-ending legacy of heartache and tears. We all miss her so very much."

Det Insp Andy Lee of Leicestershire Police, said: "Mel's death was a tragedy. Her loss is still felt greatly across the force amongst her friends and colleagues. Many have been here today for the inquest."

Stabbed trainee Pc inquest opens
09 Jan 07 |  Leicestershire
Family pay tribute to stabbed Pc
08 Jan 07 |  Leicestershire
Police officer stabbed to death
06 Jan 07 |  Leicestershire

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