Man killed himself in front of married lover

A man killed himself in front of his lover when she refused to leave her husband, an inquest heard today.

Patrick Floyd, 43, from Prestwich, Greater Manchester, plunged a knife into his neck in front of his lover, Molly Brennan, after attacking her husband David.

The married couple, who are still together, were originally arrested on suspicion of his murder but later released without charge.

Mr Floyd, a carer for the disabled, went to Mrs Brennan's house in Bolton, Lancashire, in April last year to "sort things out" after she refused to return his calls.

Her husband David, who knew nothing of the affair, came to the front door when he saw the pair arguing, Bolton Coroner's Court heard.

Mr Floyd stabbed his love rival with a kitchen knife but later turned the nine-inch blade on himself, the court heard.

The coroner returned an open verdict because he was not satisfied Mr Floyd had intended to kill himself, saying he might have been acting "instinctively".

Mr Floyd was born in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, as Andrew Smith but changed his name after a failed suicide attempt, the court heard.

His mother committed suicide when he was 16 after numerous affairs, and left a suicide note for her son saying: "Mend your ways or you will end up like me."

He met his lover, 32-year-old American Mrs Brennan, through his work with disabled people in November 2008.

They began a sexual relationship after she confided in him that her marriage to 28-year-old David was failing.

Mr Floyd introduced her to his family, and they went on a trip to Conway Castle, the court heard.

"Patrick was very intense, he was besotted by her," their mutual friend, Selina Wain, told the court.

But Mrs Brennan's feelings were not as strong and she told her lover that she wanted some time apart.

She told the court: "He was putting more and more pressure on me. I told him I needed space."

However, Mr Floyd could not understand why his lover would not leave her husband, Ms Wain told the coroner.

He texted Ms Wain, saying: "She promised me, she promised herself. I just don't understand. I feel so used but I refuse to accept that she used me."

On April 14 last year, he told friends he was going to her house in Chapman Street to "sort things out".

He arrived at 7pm and Mrs Brennan answered the door.

She said: "He was unlike I have ever seen him. He was angry, he was not looking at me in the eyes."

Her husband came to the door and Mr Floyd threw photos of them at him, before producing the knife from the inside of his jacket and lunging at him, the court heard.

"It was being thrust at David, David was being attacked. At some point I had gotten hold of the knife and so did Patrick."

She said she fought her lover for control of the blade while her husband went to get help.

"I thought he was going to go after David and kill him. He peeled my fingers off the knife and almost immediately after he put it to his neck. He then plunged it into his neck.

"My hand was off it completely. He pulled it out straight away and staggered around and fell on the ground.

"I think he knew fully what he was doing. It was very purposeful."

Mr Brennan told the court he was stabbed several times by his love rival, who was "trying to swing the knife to slice me".

He has undergone multiple operations and is covered in scars, he said.

Mr Floyd was pronounced dead at the scene, after severing the major artery in his neck.

Forensic pathologist Dr Naomi Carter told the court his injuries were consistent with the evidence given by Mr and Mrs Brennan.

But she admitted it was unusual that there were no "hesitation cuts" on the neck consistent with a self-inflicted wound.

Dr Carter said cuts on Mr Floyd's hand could be consistent with defence injuries and said she "could not exclude the possibility" that his injuries were "inflicted by a third person".

Detective Constable David Blease, from Greater Manchester Police, said the couple were interviewed at "great length" and their evidence was "consistent throughout".

He told the court Mr Floyd had also packed a meat cleaver and another kitchen knife in his rucksack, which was later found at the scene.

The Crown Prosecution Service decided there was insufficient evidence to prosecute anyone, he told the coroner.

Coroner Alan Walsh returned an open verdict, saying he was not sure Mr Floyd had intended to kill himself.

He said Mr Floyd had "devoted his life" to caring for others, and had many close friends.

"I regard this as a great tragedy. He enjoyed his work and many people benefited from his care.

"It is clear his desire to continue the relationship with Molly Brennan was greater than her desire. It caused him anguish and he certainly had a problem coming to terms with the fact he might lose her.

"He did not indicate he was going to harm himself or anyone else. In an instinctive reaction he plunged the knife into his neck," he said.

Speaking outside court, Mr and Mrs Brennan said they wanted to be left alone to get on with their lives.

Mr Brennan said: "We have been treated disgracefully. We are the innocent victims of a crime. There was only one criminal involved. We just want to move on now."