Pensioner freed from mental hospital 'killed his wife over revelation that she wasn't a virgin when they married'

A retired businessman released from a mental hospital battered his wife to death before killing himself despite a series of warnings to doctors and police.

Roger Goswell, 66, beat his wife with a rubber mallet and stabbed her with a kitchen knife before driving his Smart car into a tree.

A month earlier he had tried to commit suicide by gassing himself with exhaust fumes.

Sue and Roger Goswell

Roger Goswell was released from the Priory clinic in Hove days before he killed his wife Sue and then himself after she told him she was not a virgin when they married, an inquest has heard

He was distraught after learning that his wife Susan, 63, had not been a virgin when they married 46 years ago, an inquest heard.

The former property developer later warned her he would kill her as 'there were three people in the marriage'.

He was sectioned and placed in the Harold Kidd Unit of St Richard's Hospital, Chichester, West Sussex.

When doctors said he had improved and could be discharged, his family insisted he was transferred to the Priory clinic in Hove, East Sussex.

Roger Goswell

Mrs Goswell's blood-stained body was found in the lounge of their luxury home after police called at the property following Mr Goswell's car crash

But, the inquest heard, in an email sent to psychiatrist Dr Helen Leegood two weeks before the killing, the couple's daughter Sarah Bevan, 42, warned: 'I do not want this to be another front page news story of everyone trying to warn doctors of the danger and the patient being allowed to commit murder and suicide.'

Mrs Goswell, who had started divorce proceedings and changed her will so that her husband would not benefit in the event of her death, had been seeing psychotherapist, Clare James, to help her cope with her relationship.

Mrs James emailed the psychiatrist dealing with Mr Goswell at the Priory, Dr Glen Berelowitz, that Mr Goswell 'has indicated to his wife intentions to kill her and himself while at home' and that 'he can manipulate people to his advantage'.

Despite these warnings doctors at the Priory considered him well enough to discharge on December 17 last year and he went back home to live with his wife.

Sarah Bevan

The couple's daughter, Sarah Bevan, had warned against her father being discharged, the inquest heard

Three days later Mrs Goswell called police to report her husband had threatened to kill her.

Then on December 23 Mrs Goswell's bloodied body was found in the lounge of their home, in West Chiltington, West Sussex, when police called at the property following-Mr Goswell's car crash. He died on Christmas Eve at Worthing Hospital.

Mrs Bevan told the court yesterday: 'Perhaps if people had taken things more seriously then maybe they would still be here today.'

Chichester Coroner's Court heard that Mr Goswell had been showing particularly erratic behaviour in the year before his death.

He became obsessed with fox-hunting and golf, and bought ten cars in the space of a year.

But he reached a 'tipping point' after his wife confessed that she had not been a virgin when they married in 1964.

Mr Goswell told a friend, Nicholas Birch, while playing golf that he planned to kill his wife, himself and the person who took his wife's virginity.

The inquest was adjourned until Friday.

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