Open verdict at inquest of Leeds woman whose husband had been murder suspect

Glynis Woodhead

A CORONER recorded an open verdict at an inquest into the death of a 60-year-old Leeds woman, whose husband had been arrested on suspicion of her murder.

Glynis Woodhead’s husband of 42 years Robert was held after Mrs Woodhead, of Tinshill Mount, Tinshill, died from a head injury last May, Wakefield Coroner’s Court was told.

Police investigated Mr Woodhead before presenting a file to the Crown Prosecution Service, but the inquest heard that the evidence submitted did not meet the CPS’ evidential threshold.

After the inquest yesterday, one of the couple’s three children said his parents were “extremely loving.”

During the inquest, Senior Coroner David Hinchliff asked Detective Chief Inspector Ian Scott of West Yorkshire Police: “Is it still your belief that the death was suspicious?” Det Chf Insp Scott replied: “Yes it is.”

Retired bus driver Mr Woodhead called 999 just after 5.30am on May 12, 2016 and told the operator his wife was not breathing. Mr Woodhead and told paramedics he and his wife had been arguing and that he had left the house for a short time. He said when he returned he found she had collapsed and been sick.

The couple had been to a funeral on May 11 where it was noticed that Mrs Woodhead had two black eyes. The inquest heard Robert Woodhead said she had suffered facial injuries after stepping on a garden rake. Forensic pathologist Dr Kirsten Hope said as well as a fatal head injury, Mrs Woodhead had ten injuries to her head and neck including multiple areas of bruising to her face. Dr Hope said the facial injuries were consistent with a possible assault.

The inquest heard Mrs Woodhead had suffered a cut lip and a tissue containing her blood and saliva was found in a bin at the house.

Mr Hinchliff asked Dr Hope: “Are you saying you can’t rule out that there had been a blow to the head that would have caused the person to fall?” Dr Hope replied: “You can’t rule that out.”

Recording an open verdict, Mr Hinchliff said to Mrs Woodhead’s family: “I can’t ignore the forensic evidence that your mother did have some fresh injuries to her face.”

Speaking after the inquest, one of he couple’s three children, Alan Woodhead, 42, said: “We know deep down that nothing untoward has happened.” He added: “They were extremely loving.”

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