Police chief's inquest opens as alleged lover is named

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The Independent Online

The inquest into the death of Michael Todd, the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester, opened yesterday, hours after the identity of a woman with whom he is alleged to have had a three-year-affair was revealed.

Angie Robinson, the chief executive of Manchester Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was named in various reports as one of the women that Mr Todd had been seeing behind the back of his wife Carolyn.

The Manchester Evening News also reported that Carolyn, who was married to Mr Todd for 27 years, had become aware of the affair just weeks before he was found dead near the summit of Snowdon, in north Wales, on Tuesday.

Neither Mrs Robinson nor her husband were available to comment yesterday.

But despite his apparent relationship with Mrs Robinson being revealed, stories continued to circulate that Mr Todd had been having other extramarital affairs. Sources are said to have told Sky News that he had a number of affairs with several women, including police officers, a personal assistant and a journalist on a national newspaper.

Those revelations came shortly before the start of the police chief's inquest, which opened in Anglesey yesterday afternoon, and on the same day that his family paid tribute to him.

At the inquest it was said that Mr Todd was slightly over the drink-drive limit when his body was found. He had no major internal injuries and no injuries consistent with a fall from height. The only injuries present were cuts, described as "superficial", above his eye, on his nose, shin and hand.

The coroner for north-west Wales, Dewi Pritchard-Jones, took the unusual step of calling the consultant pathologist, Dr Anthony Caslin, to the hearing. Mr Pritchard-Jones said he did so to dispel some of the "ridiculous" stories circulating in the media about Mr Todd's death. It now appears that the most likely cause was hypothermia.

The inquest was adjourned so that Mr Todd's body could be released to his family, although no date was set for the full inquest.

Mr Todd's wife, daughter Catherine, 16, and twin sons, David and Matthew, 13, released a statement in which Carolyn said: "Michael was a caring and loving father and husband. I loved Michael very much and the last time I spoke to him he told me he loved me too."