29 April 2021 | Comment | Article by Lynda Reynolds

Family remains devastated by the death of parents in such tragic circumstances

The Inquest touching the death of Ann Mowbray, age 80, has concluded that she was unlawfully killed by her husband Ronald Mowbray at home on 17 February 2020.

Ronald was remanded in HMP Hewell, Redditch after Ann was found dead at home and he admitted he had stabbed her. Ronald died on 1 April 2020. The inquest touching his death on 8 March 2021 concluded that ‘he died from a lack of adequate nutrition and hydration, due in part to his wilful refusal to accept adequate food and drink provided to him, but also his difficulty in swallowing food’.

The couple’s son Duncan remains devastated at the death of both his parents within weeks of each other and in such tragic circumstances. Ronald and Ann had been married for 43 years and Duncan and Kim regularly assisted them with medical care and shopping and had no idea that Ronald was considering killing his wife.

Ronald and Ann were both Jehovah’s Witnesses and following Ann’s death Ronald telephoned the Elder at Kingdom Hall to say he had killed his wife. It was the Elder, that then telephoned the police.

The investigations into Ann’s death confirmed that Ronald had in fact spoken to the Elder about his plans some two weeks before the murder of Ann. The family raised concerns with the Coroner that this information should have been reported as a safeguarding incident and had that occurred, Ann’s death would have been prevented. The Coroner heard evidence from Stephen Kelly, the Elder on this point and considered the findings of the Warwickshire Domestic Homicide Review and heard evidence from the author. The Coroner will be making a prevention of Future Deaths Report to the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Mr Mowbray said: “I am relieved that both the inquests are now complete, I remain devastated by the loss of both my parents in such awful circumstances. Particularly as I feel that there were missed opportunities to prevent this happening. We are grateful for the assistance of The National Homicide Service, Victim Support, who have assisted us throughout the last year.”

The family now wish to draw this matter to a close.

The National Homicide Service, Victim Support, is an independent national charity which supports families bereaved by murder and manslaughter. It assisted the family by sourcing legal representation and stated: “We are grateful for the specialist support provided to the family by Hugh James in this very sad case”.

Head of our Inquest team, Lynda Reynolds, said “We were happy to help the family through the Inquest process.  This was a very distressing situation and we were able to instruct Chris Canning of 7BR to ensure that the family’s concerns regarding the conduct of the Jehovah’s Witness Elder were fully investigated and hope that lessons can be learned and future deaths avoided.”

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Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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