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Inquest opens into death of ex-UKIP councillor’s wife

Stephen Searle has been charged with Jessie Searle's murder
Stephen Searle has been charged with Jessie Searle's murder

The wife of a former UKIP councillor was found dead at her home following a phone call to police by her husband, a coroner has heard.

An inquest into the death of Jessie Searle, 62, also known as Anne, was opened today at Suffolk Coroners Court in Ipswich.

Jessie 'Anne' Searle
Jessie 'Anne' Searle

The hearing heard police and paramedics were called by Stephen Searle, 64, on the evening of December 30.

In a statement, DI Karl Nightlingale of Suffolk Police’s Major Investigation Unit said officers and paramedics tried to revive Mrs Searle at the couple’s home in The Brickfields, Stowmarket.

Glasgow-born Mrs Searle, a mother of three grown-up children, was declared dead at the scene less than 40 minutes after the initial call.

Mr Searle, a former UKIP county councillor and Royal Marine, was charged with murder on January 2 and is expected to stand trial at Ipswich Crown Court in June.

DI Nightingale said a post mortem by Home Office pathologist Dr Benjamin Swift had not yet established a cause of death, though there were indications of ‘forceful compression’ of her neck.

Suffolk area coroner Nigel Parsley adjourned the hearing until after the trial.

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