An inquest was opened this morning into the horrific double death of a council leader and his vivacious wife.

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Before adjourning the inquest, held at Thorpe Road, Norwich, Norfolk coroner William Armstrong said Andrea Johnson was shot in the chest, while husband Keith had a wound to the neck.

As reported, police believe Mr Johnson, leader of North Norfolk District Council, shot his wife with her shotgun in the front garden of a neighbour’s bungalow at Compit Hills, Cromer, at 2.50pm on Sunday December 2.

It is believed that he then called his closest friends, Leslie and Jean Amis, to ask them to look after their lurcher, Alfred, and call the police - before walking into his back garden and turning the gun on himself.

Mr Armstrong said: “At around 3pm, as a result of a 999 call, police and paramedics went to Mr and Mrs Johnson’s home. On arrival they found Mrs Johnson in the garden of a neighbour’s house with a gunshot wound to the chest.

“Despite their best efforts she could not be revived and was pronounced dead. The police subsequently found Keith Johnson in the garden of his home with a gunshot wound to the neck and he was also pronounced dead at the scene.

“A shotgun was found next to his body.”

Mr Armstrong said 44-year-old Mrs Johnson was born at Corby in Northamptonshire on October 4 1968, while Mr Johnson, 58, who recently retired after 39 years in local government, was born on June 19 1954 at Sheringham.

The coroner also said that it was unlikely that any criminal proceedings would arise from the subsequent investigation.

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