Shot man's children plea for help by text message

Samantha Davies, the widow of Richard Davies, told the inquest her children sent a plea for help by text message. Credit: ITV News Anglia
  • Click to watch a report on the inquest by ITV News Anglia's Matthew Hudson

The widow of a man shot dead by police in Cambridgeshire told an inquest that her eldest child sent her a text message saying: "Dad's going to kill himself. He's tied us up. I'm not joking."

Father-of-three Richard Davies had learned his marriage was over, spent the day drinking then tied up his children when armed police were called to his home, the hearing at Peterborough Town Hall was told.

The 41-year-old had fired six shots from inside his home before he died of asingle gunshot wound to the chest fired by an officer using his police issueHeckler and Koch G36 assault rifle.

Mr Davies died at the family's home in Duck Lane, St Neots, Cambridgeshire, on 21 October 2015.

His widow Samantha, who had been with him for 20 years, told jurors on Friday that she was at her sister's house when she received a text message from her eldest child.

The inquest at Peterborough Town Hall heard that it read: "Call the police.Get them to come to our house. Dad's going to kill himself. He's tied us up. I'm not joking."

She said she went straight to the house and found that one of her children had escaped by jumping from an upstairs window, but she believed her other two children were still in the house.

Mrs Davies said she banged on the door and her husband opened it.

"He had a very angry look on his face. "It was almost like a glazed look he had on his face.

Samantha Davies
Richard Davies was shot dead by armed police at his home in St Neots in October 2015. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Mrs Davies said he later appeared at the door while digging the tip of a kitchen knife slightly into his chest.

Her other two children later escaped by jumping from windows and their aunt took them to her house.

Mrs Davies said police asked her to go into her neighbour's house, and sherecalled armed officers alerting her husband of their presence and him shouting back.

"He was shouting at them to shoot him," she said.

"He was almost egging them on."

Richard Davies had battled depression and served time in prison for breaking a man's jaw.

Mrs Davies told the inquest that she did not hear everything that happened and was not told that her husband had died until she visited the hospital.

Earlier that day she said she had a conversation with her husband in which "it was made clear that the marriage was over".

"I think on several occasions he would try to convince me it might befixable," she said.

"He was saying he wasn't sure what his life would be like without me and the children in it."

But she said "there wasn't an ounce of anger" and it was a practicalconversation about him moving out the following weekend.

"At that point he seemed to have some acceptance around what needed tohappen," said Mrs Davies.

She said she had never seen his home-made gun or ammunition before, and her family were "forever changed" by what happened.<

The inquest heard Mr Davies had a troubled past, having battled depression, served time in prison for breaking a man's jaw, had bowel cancer in 2012 and was signed off work following difficulty with a colleague.

The inquest continues.