Man suspected of murdering his ex-girlfriend at Yorkshire hotel was on licence from prison
Chenise Gregory, 29, and Michael McGibbon, also 29, were found dead on May 4, 2021 in the same room at the Doubletree by Hilton Harrogate Majestic Hotel, more than 200 miles from where they lived in London. Both had died after being stabbed.
According to her cousin Dévante Gravesande-Smith, who is a barrister, Ms Gregory was a child care worker and Mr McGibbon’s ex-girlfriend.
A pre-inquest review hearing for Mr McGibbon at Croydon Coroner’s Court was told that he had been released from prison prior to his and Ms Gregory’s deaths, although it was not said what he had been jailed for.
At a previous hearing it was revealed that one party was on licence at the time of the suspected murder-suicide, although the court would not specifically identify them.
Ms Gregory’s “heartbroken” family are now asking for her inquest to be heard by a jury because of the alleged involvement of the police and parole board in the run-up to the deaths.
Delaying the decision for other “interested parties” to be notified, assistant coroner Edmund Gritt said: “I am unlikely to be drawn into discussion around the parole board’s decision to order a release, and whether this was correct or incorrect, but there are questions to be asked.”
Shortly after Ms Gregory’s death, Mr Gravesande-Smith posted a tribute to his cousin on social media, writing: “Chenise was a loving and caring person whose smile would light up a room.”
Croydon Coroner’s Court also heard from the family of Mr McGibbon, who asked for evidence that he was suffering from poor mental health to be taken into consideration when making a ruling on his death.
A friend of Mr McGibbon’s mother Valerie, speaking on behalf of the family, told Mr Gritt: “We don’t want Michael to be framed as a bad man, but as a mentally ill man suffering from psychosis at the time of his death.
“We want the court to have documents such as the clinical notes from the doctor at the prison, which say Michael reported hearing voices.”
Mr Gritt also made reference to McGibbon’s mental health while in custody, telling the court that in 2018 he had reported matters which related to his mental health to the prison.
When Mr McGibbon and Ms Gregory were found dead, North Yorkshire Police confirmed it was treating the tragedy as a suspected murder-suicide.
Mr McGibbon’s inquest has been scheduled for early next year although no final date has been set for Ms Gregory’s inquest.