Inquest hears of Stowmarket murder-suicide

Richard and Sarah Pitkin when they opened a new tea shop in Stowmarket
Richard and Sarah Pitkin when they opened a new tea shop in Stowmarket

A carpenter stabbed his wife to death before taking his own life, an inquest has heard.

The bodies of Richard Pitkin, 65, and his wife Sarah, 58, were found at their Stowmarket home where their four children also lived.

Mrs Pitkin was dead on the bed and had suffered multiple stab wounds, while her husband’s body was found hanging nearby.

Suffolk Coroners’ Court heard today how the couple had been married for 37 years but Mrs Pitkin had recently moved out of the family home.

Det Supt David Cutler told the inquest in Ipswich that officers and paramedics were called to the property on February 26.

He said: “Everything points to Richard murdering Sarah before taking his own life.”

A post-mortem examination confirmed Mrs Pitkin had suffered stab wounds.

The couple moved to Stowmarket in 2009, to fulfill their dream of running a tea room.

But the business is thought to have failed two years ago, when Mr Pitkin set up his own carpentry firm and his wife went to work in a charity shop.

A friend, who did not wish to be named, said previously: “They were very different to each other but they got along.

“Sarah was more outgoing. Richard was a really hard worker, one of those people who liked being really busy.

“They always seemed like a lovely couple.”

Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean adjourned the five-minute hearing to allow investigations to continue.

He offered his condolences to the couple’s family and friends.