Norfolk coroner satisfied deaths in Estonia of Phillip and Mary Anne Townsend, from Wood Dalling, were not suspicious

The deaths of a Norfolk couple in Estonia earlier this year have been confirmed as being caused by carbon monoxide poisoning at an inquest hearing.

The bodies of banker Phillip Townsend, 55, and his 52-year-old wife Mary Anne, of Wood Dalling Hall, near Aylsham, were found dead at their converted barn near the town of Valga in southern Estonia on Friday, February 24.

Norfolk coroner William Armstrong confirmed that he was satisfied with the investigation carried out by the Valga Criminal Investigation department when summing up at the hearing at Norfolk Coroner's Court, in Thorpe Road, Norwich yesterday.

He said: 'I am entirely satisfied with the police investigation's findings that there was no violent or suspicious circumstances, or any third-party involvement.'

Mr Townsend lived and worked in Moscow, Russia and James Wilson, brother of Mrs Townsend, spoke during the inquest to confirm that the rural barn in Estonia had been purchased by the couple in 2009 before work was carried out to convert it into a livable house during 2010 and 2011.


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The couple, who had two children, had moved into the property around six weeks before their death.

The investigation had centred around two petrol generators in the house's utility room, as the house was not connected to mains electricity.

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Mr Armstrong said: 'It was made clear to Mr Townsend that the exterior doors of the utility room should be kept open to provide the necessary ventilation.'

It was said that a plumber, Olav Poderat, had come round to fix a problem at the house and it was he who found the couple's bodies and called the police.

It was also said that one of the exhaust pipes connected to the generators had been disconnected, with police suspecting it may have been stepped on when the generator was filled up with petrol.

david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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