Mother left dead as children played had neck injuries

A woman apparently murdered by her husband who then committed suicide had suffered neck injuries, an inquest has heard.

Barry Harrison, 47, and his wife Amanda, 34, were found inside their home on the Isle of Wight on Monday.

The inquest at Newport Coroner's Court heard yesterday their two sons, aged three and five, were found in the flat in Shanklin by a family friend. She had gone round after a family member raised their concerns having not been able to contact them.

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The elder son opened the door and told her that both parents were sleeping. She then found Mr Harrison hanging from a rope in a bedroom with his wife dead on the floor in the same room.

Coroner's officer Richard Leedham said Mrs Harrison had suffered neck injuries.

The inquest heard a post-mortem examination carried out by Home Office pathologist Dr Russell Delaney gave a cause of death of hanging for Mr Harrison. But the examination carried out on Mrs Harrison was inconclusive. Further tests will be carried out.

Assistant deputy coroner for the Isle of Wight Hugh Calloway adjourned the inquest to a date to be set.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight police have said that they are treating Mrs Harrison's death as "suspicious" and Mr Harrison's as "non-suspicious" and are not seeking anyone else in connection with the deaths.

Family friend Pat Cannon, who works as a manager for the block of flats and was the woman who found the bodies, said the children were playing in the hallway when she found their father hanging from the loft.

Ms Cannon said: "I knocked on their door and the elder boy opened it. Everything seemed normal. The boys were playing in the hallway.

"He said, 'Hello, Pat'. I said, 'Where are mummy and daddy?' They said, 'Mummy and daddy are asleep'.

"I could see the loft hatch open and some cord. I pushed the door to the room and it felt like a dead weight."