THE actions of a husband who stabbed his wife to death before apparently killing himself were ‘unforseeable,’ according to a senior psychiatrist.
Susan Ashworth, 47, was murdered by her husband, Martin, thirteen days after he was released from a mental health unit, Wakefield Coroner’s Court was told.
The couple were found at their home in Garforth, Leeds, on April 29, 2014, after a house fire.
Mrs Ashworth had suffered three stab wounds to her chest and Mr Ashworth was discovered badly burnt and barely alive in the garden.
Mr Ashworth, 48, was admitted to psychiatric unit the Becklin Centre at St James’s Hospital on March 26 2014 under Section 2 of the Mental Health Act following a suicide attempt. He was discharged on April 16 2014.
Dr Guy Brookes, senior clinical director at the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said Mr Ashworth did not have a diagnosable mental illness. Michael Rawlinson, lawyer for the trust, asked Dr Brookes: “The Domestic Homicide Review takes the view that this was, in the circumstances, possibly an outcome that was preventable. Do you agree with that?” Dr Brookes replied: “I don’t. It would have been unlawful to keep Mr Ashworth longer.” Mr Rawlinson asked: “On balance, do you say this was an unpredictable and unforseeable event?” Dr Brookes replied: “I do.” The inquest has heard Mr Ashworth was controlling and his wife wanted a divorce. The inquest continues.