Triple deaths inquest told of man's income loss

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The Independent Online

A man believed to have killed his wife and daughter before hanging himself faced losing up to 95% of his income, an inquest heard today.

Flower salesman Hugh McFall, 48, was found hanged in his industrial lock-up on February 5, four hours after the bodies of his wife and daughter were discovered at the family home in Oswestry, Shropshire.

Susan, 56, and Francesca, 18, died of head injuries, an inquest into the three deaths at Shrewsbury Magistrates' Court was told today.

Dr Alexander Kolar, a Home Office pathologist, told the court the women were found lying side by side on a bed in the master bedroom of the Hampton Road bungalow covered in a "considerable amount of blood".

Both women had injuries consistent with having been struck by a rubber mallet recovered from the scene, the pathologist said.

Business associates told John Ellery, coroner for mid and north Shropshire, they had called a meeting with Mr McFall the day before his death to confront him over suspected discrepancies in his invoices to them.

Mr McFall's contract to supply flowers to Stan's Superstore in Oswestry amounted to up to 95% of his income but was suspended when he could not explain to the company partners why they were making a loss in their flower and plants department.

Justin Smart, general manager of the store, told the inquest he believed the company had overpaid Mr McFall "well over half a million pounds over seven years".