Dead police chief 'a caring father and husband'

The widow of police chief Michael Todd paid tribute today to a "loving and caring father and husband" as it was revealed he had a three-year affair with a leading businesswoman.

Carolyn Todd said the family were "struggling to come to terms" with his apparent suicide.

She said: "I loved Michael very much and the last time I spoke to him, he told me he loved me too. We have been married for 27 years and eight months."

The Manchester Evening News reported today that Greater Manchester Police chief constable Mr Todd, 50, had an affair with Angie Robinson, the chief executive of Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.

An inquest into the death of Mr Todd, whose body was found on Mount Snowdon in North Wales on Tuesday, was being formally opened today at Anglesey Council Chamber.

A toxicology report is also expected to be completed and pathologist Dr Anthony Caslin will outline his preliminary findings at the hearing.

A post-mortem examination yesterday revealed "no obvious cause of death", coroner Dewi Pritchard Jones said.

It is believed he could have drunk too much and removed some of his clothing, hastening the onset of hypothermia.

Mr and Mrs Todd lived together at their house in Nottinghamshire with daughter Catherine, 16, and twin 13-year-old boys David and Matthew.

In a statement, the widow said: "Michael was a caring and loving father and husband. He was immensely proud of his kids.

"He worked away from home on the second most important thing in his life, his job, returning to us at the weekend and for family holidays. The family recently returned from a holiday in Jamaica.

"I loved Michael very much and the last time I spoke to him he told me he loved me too. We have been married for 27 years and eight months.

"The whole family is struggling to come to terms with his death and we would ask the media to leave us to grieve in peace."

Today a police source confirmed that he had had a relationship with Mrs Robinson, 50, who lives in Cheshire with her husband John.

She has a grown-up son and daughter, and was appointed chief executive of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce in July 2000.

In a statement, the chamber said: "Angie Robinson is unavailable for comment today. However, she has the full support of the chamber in her role as chief executive."

Rescuers spent more than 12 hours looking in the wrong place for Mr Todd, as an attempt to locate him via his mobile phone signal indicated he was near Port Dinorwic, approximately 10 miles away from where he was eventually found.

Ian Henderson, secretary of the Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team, said: "Mobile phone signals are notoriously difficult to track.

"We used the best information we had at the time."

It is unknown whether the delay stopped the emergency services from saving Mr Todd's life at the bottom of a cliff near Bwlch Glas.

Mr Henderson added: "He didn't have a jacket on. A team went up yesterday to try and find a jacket but without any success."

It is believed he could have drunk too much and removed some of his clothing, hastening the onset of hypothermia.

The Sun said that a briefcase and personal belongings were stolen from Mr Todd's car last September which could be linked to a blackmail plot.

Some news outlets have reported that Mr Todd had an illegitimate child.

It has also been suggested that letters addressed to his family have been found, but Greater Manchester Police said no notes were found at or near the scene.

Mr Todd, who had been tipped to succeed Sir Ian Blair as Britain's highest-ranking officer, is believed to have sent worrying text messages on Monday afternoon, prompting the search.

Mrs Robinson's husband John Robinson, 52, was not at his workplace, a spokeswoman for Whittaker & Biggs estate agents in Congleton said today.

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