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Wife bludgeoned in double death tragedy

Pictured is former Matlock woman Julie Connaughton, of Walton Drive, Boythorpe, Chesterfield, who was found dead at her home with her deceased husband David Connaughton.

Pictured is former Matlock woman Julie Connaughton, of Walton Drive, Boythorpe, Chesterfield, who was found dead at her home with her deceased husband David Connaughton.

A former Matlock woman was bludgeoned to death with a hammer by her jilted husband before he stabbed himself to death.

Chesterfield coroner’s court heard at an inquest on Thursday, April 3, how David Connaughton, 60, killed Julie Connaughton, 57, in their bedroom and then stabbed himself 28 times after he discovered she was planning a divorce.

Mrs Connaughton lived in Matlock for most of her life and was secretary of the Peaks and Dales Darts and Dominoes League for 14 years.

Officers discovered the blood-splattered couple on their bed at their home on Walton Drive, Boythorpe, Chesterfield, after Mrs Connaughton’s daughter Emily Corless had not been able to get into the room.

Det Con Tony Owen, of Derbyshire Constabulary, said: “Officers forced the door which was blocked by a large piece of furniture and found two deceased people.”

Retired shop owner Mrs Connaughton was found, according to the inquest, with three plastic bags over her head near a blood splattered wall and a blood-stained hammer. A post mortem report stated she had suffered at least 22 blows to her head, fractures to her skull and hands and bruising.

Carer Mr Connaughton had 28 stab wounds to his abdomen with bruises to his palms and a thigh and wounds to his wrists. He was found with a knife between his legs.

The report found he died hours after Mrs Connaughton and her injuries preceded his and were consistent with defence wounds.

Det Con Owen added: “We knew Julie and David were having marital problems and were almost leading separate lives. We were aware she had started a new relationship and from speaking to family David had anxiety.”

Police checked a computer tower used by Mr Connaughton which revealed website searches about divorce and homelessness and two search questions about killing including “When someone p****s you off, is it worth killing them?”.

Assistant Derbyshire coroner Paul McCandless confirmed Mrs Connaughton died from head injuries and Mr Connaughton died later from stab wounds after their bodies were found on August 16, last year. The coroner concluded Mrs Connaughton’s death was as a result of an unlawful killing and stated it was effectively murder. He concluded Mr Connaughton’s death was as a result of suicide. Mrs Connaughton’s daughters Emily and Nicola Corless said their mother was loving and fun and they miss her every day.

 

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