Update: Open verdicts at double death inquests

THERE remain “unanswered and unanswerable questions” about the deaths of two people found in a field last December, a coroner has said.

The bodies of Davina Hamilton, 42, and John Parsons, 46, were discovered lying next to a grey Mitsubishi car at Howes Farm, in Newbourne Road, Waldringfield, on December 16 2011.

Separate inquests into their deaths held at IP-City Centre in Ipswich yesterday returned open verdicts. Detective Inspector Angus Moir told the hearing that both had consumed alcohol and several strong prescription painkiller tablets. A hosepipe was attached to the car exhaust pipe and the engine was running when it was found by a farm worker at 7.37am but neither of the deceased had inhaled any fumes.

He said Ms Hamilton had developed an addiction to codeine, while Mr Parsons was taking painkillers after losing the use of his right arm in an accident.

Det Insp Moir said that when questioned about the couple, witnesses had mentioned allegations of domestic violence within the relationship and he explained that Ms Hamilton had moved out of the couple’s home and into a refuge just days before the tragic event.

Det Insp Moir said: “They had had some difficulties and argued, which resulted in them leaving each other on several occasions.

“Witness accounts and phone records showed that despite the couple having separated, they had remained in contact and had expressed strong feelings towards each other in the days leading up to their death.”

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Greater Suffolk Coroner Dr Peter Dean said that with the absence of any note or message indicating their intentions, he could not say beyond reasonable doubt that the pair had intended to kill themselves.

He said: “(These are) very sad and slightly unusual circumstances as well. The possibility of the joint suicide pact clearly is there with alcohol being taken and painkillers being taken and the tragic outcome of which we have heard.

“There remain unanswered and unanswerable questions about the circumstances here.”

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