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Man shot wife in head then turned gun on himself after telling GP marriage was in trouble, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 19:18 15 June 2018 | UPDATED: 11:46 16 June 2018

Stephen Muncaster. Picture Archant.

Stephen Muncaster. Picture Archant.

Archant

A man shot his wife in the head then turned the shotgun on himself hours after telling his GP his marriage was breaking down, an inquest heard.

Stephen Muncaster, 47, killed his wife Allison, 48, as she sat on the sofa at their home in Magdalen near King’s Lynn.

His body was found in the front garden with a shotgun wound to the head and his shotgun beside him, an inquest in Norwich heard on Friday.

An earlier hearing concluded Mrs Muncaster was unlawfully killed, and senior coroner Jacqueline Lake concluded that Mr Muncaster’s death was suicide.

Mr Muncaster had visited his GP the day before the shooting and said he was depressed, the inquest heard.

GP Chris Holmes said in a written statement: “He came to see me on July 11 2016 complaining he was feeling depressed that his marriage was breaking down.

“His wife had told him she was leaving him and he suspected she was seeing someone else.”

Mr Holmes said he questioned Mr Muncaster directly about whether he had thoughts about self-harm, and he was “adamant he would not harm himself, citing his five lovely grandchildren as a protective factor”.

“I was quite confident at the time that Mr Muncaster had no plans to harm himself or others,” he added.

He said Mr Muncaster, who had been registered to the practice since 1994, had suffered from depression previously in 2003 following the breakdown of his first marriage.

Mr Holmes said he “did not see it as necessary to refer him (Mr Muncaster) to the mental health team at that time”.

The shooting of cleaner Mrs Muncaster was captured on CCTV cameras within the property, but the death of builder Mr Muncaster happened out of view of the cameras outside the property in Stow Road in the early hours of July 12 2016.

Detective Constable Jeremy Pitt said CCTV footage showed Mr Muncaster looking “very upset with his head in his hands” and Mrs Muncaster was also seen “clearly upset” before the shooting.

He said Mr Muncaster collected the shotgun, which was concealed under the bed earlier that evening, and took aim at his wife from a doorway into the lounge.

The officer added that Mr Muncaster produced the weapon from behind his back and his wife tried to run away, but was shot in the head at 12.05am.

DC Pitt said a neighbour reported hearing a voice shouting: “I’ve just shot Ali.”

He said Mr Muncaster had sent a final text sent to his son at 11.43pm on July 11, which was not received.

It read: “Look after yourself and my grandchildren and your sisters and my mum. Love you always, dad.”

It was signed off with kisses.

“There had been no previous domestic incidents reported to police and Stephen was a licensed shotgun owner,” said DC Pitt.

A post-mortem examination concluded Mr Muncaster died of a single shotgun wound to the head, he was not intoxicated at the time and there were no signs of offensive, defensive or restraint wounds.

The hearing was attended by family members, including Mr Muncaster’s son and two daughters, who made no comment.

Mr Muncaster was the uncle of so-called “Lotto lout” Michael Carroll, who hit the headlines in 2002 when he won £9.7 million on the National Lottery.

The former binman blew all of his winnings before taking a job in a biscuit factory.

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