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  1. ITV Report

Pensioner 'killed' wife then drove into tree

Edward Furneaux drove into a tree (L) after apparently killing his wife at their home in Worle (R). Credit: Google Maps

A pensioner killed his wife after struggling to cope with looking after her and failing to sleep because her loud coughing was ''driving him mad'', an inquest heard.

Edward Furneaux, 74, stabbed Ann, 70, with a knife and battered her with a hammer while she drank a cup of tea in bed.

He had been struggling to carry out daily chores to help her and he'd told friends he was at ''the end of his tether'' the hearing at Flax Bourton was told.

Ann Furneaux suffered from emphysema and needed oxygen to breathe. Edward Furneaux also complained about her loud coughing and had been prescribed sleeping pills and had worn ear defenders.

He butchered his wife at their home in Pilgrim's Way in Worle in January 2017 and then drove off and was killed after ploughing his car into a tree in Kewstoke Road, about a mile away.

Dr Russell Delaney, who carried out the post-mortem, recorded a cause of death of multiple injuries but noted that slashes had been found on Mr Furneaux's left wrist which appeared to be self-inflicted.

Mrs Furneaux' death was caused by a stab wound to the neck and blunt force head injuries.

Mr Furneaux was caring for his wife Ann, who was suffering with severe emphysema.

He was suffering with lack of sleep and had expressed to friends the difficulties he was having with coping.

I cannot be satisfied Mr Furneaux meant to take his life that day.

The deceased was driving his motorcar when at high speed he collided with a tree. He suffered multiple injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

– Assistant coroner for Avon, Dr Peter Harrowing

The Assistant coroner for Avon recorded a narrative conclusion for Edward Furneaux saying he "died of multiple injuries following a road traffic collision."

He recorded a conclusion of unlawful killing for Ann Furneaux