March 19 2011
– A man cut his former partner’s throat and then killed himself with the same knife after she walked out on their 20-year relationship to live with a man with whom she had been having an affair, an inquest heard.
Paul Green killed Claire White with an 8in kitchen knife in a ‘sustained attack’ when she came to pick up her belongings after moving out of the village home they shared for 16 years in Aylesbeare, Devon.
The couple’s deaths last April sent shock waves through the quiet village where the couple were said to have ‘kept to themselves’.
Horrific attack: Claire White was stabbed to death in this house in Aylesbeare, Devon, which she had previously shared with Paul Green
Ms White, who was involved in training for Morrisons supermarkets around Exeter, had left Mr Green prior to the tragedy and started a new relationship.
She had been staying away from Mr Green’s property for several weeks but returned to the house on the day of her death on Monday, April 19.
The families of both Ms White and Mr Green were questioned extensively by detectives about the circumstances surrounding the pair’s deaths.
The 51-year-old engineer, who the hearing was told was a heavy drinker who had verbally abused Ms White, 48, during their relationship, took an eight inch bladed kitchen knife from a block and used it to stab her in the neck and chest five times.
She also had multiple cuts to her hands and arms where she had tried to defend herself from 51-year-old Green.
Green then stabbed himself several times in the abdomen and died still holding the weapon in his hand.
When police arrived at the house in Aylesbeare, Devon they found their bodies together in a pool of blood in the bathroom. A kitchen knife was still in his hand.
The hearing in Exeter was told that Ms White, for whom Green had left his first wife in 1989, had moved into a flat in the city with a married work colleague, Keith Bailey.
Devon coroner Dr Elizabeth Earland ruled that Claire White was unlawfully killed and that Green took his own life.
Ms White’s new boyfriend, Keith Bailey, said in a statement to the inquest that they had met through work, began an affair and had moved in together in Exeter just 10 days before the killing .
Neighbour Roger Gooch said father of one Green was ‘a couch potato’ figure who rarely socialised.
Rochdale born Green was a marine engineer employed by Babcocks and worked at MOD sites in Taunton, Somerset, including the Marine base at Manor Norton camp and the Hydrographic office in the town.
Crime scene investigator John Blake said Claire’s full suitcases were by the door and on the dining room table were legal and financial documents connected with their split.
‘It cleartly indicated a very tragic domestically based murder and suicide,’ he said.
Greater Devon coroner Dr Elizabeth Earland recorded verdicts that Claire was unlawfully killed by Green who then killed himself during a domestic argument.