Wife was terrified of ‘killer’ husband

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A PENSIONER repeatedly told care workers she was “terrified” of her husband only weeks before her death.

Jean Darbyshire, 70, was believed to have been killed by her 71 year old husband John, before he hanged himself at their Hindley bungalow in September 2009.

On the fourth day of an inquest into their deaths, the court heard how Mrs Darbyshire, who suffered from dementia had told her care coordinator Karen Gibbins that her husband scared her because of his aggressive moods swings. She also said he was a “bully” and an “angry man all their married life”.

The court heard how Mr and Mrs Darbyshire were assigned to different care workers when they moved back into their home in March 2009 after both had spent five months in care.

Giving evidence at the hearing at Bolton Coroner’s Court, Ms Gibbins tearfully described how although Mrs Darbyshire was worried about her husband’s behaviour, she was adamant she did not want to go back into care.

Ms Gibbins, a community psychiatric nurse, said: “Whilst she did suffer from dementia, Jean was aware of her situation and desperately wanted to return home.

“She knew the risk was there and we did tell her that despite his (John’s) treatment, there would be no guarantee he would be different.” Ms Gibbins told the hearing she was unaware that Mr Darbyshire had refused to allow care workers to help him three months before their deaths, although she still visited Mrs Darbyshire.

She also said that Mr Darbyshire rang to cancel care for Mrs Darbyshire and that he would look after her.

The court heard how Ms Gibbins witnessed Mr Darbyshire becoming agitated after he thought he would have his driving licence revoked because of his illness.

A colleague told her how he rang his care worker claiming that everybody was “against him.”

The couple were discovered by their son David after he had to break into their home.

A forensic pathologist told the court earlier that she believed that Mr Darbyshire had strangled Mrs Darbyshire before hanging himself.