The North Buckinghamshire coroner, Rodney Corner, returned a verdict of unlawful killing on Nikki Gibbons, 21, and a verdict of suicide on Constable Tony Gibbons, 31, after a hearing in Milton Keynes. The inquest heard friends, family and colleagues describe the obsessive and aggressive behaviour of PC Gibbons who was wracked by jealousy.
Mr Corner said: 'A coroner is not allowed to record in his verdict that a named person has been responsible for a homicide . . . but he murdered his wife and it was a particularly callous and vicious murder.'
Nikki was 18 in August 1990 when she married PC Gibbons who had needed psychiatric help after the break-up of a previous marriage. His possessive nature boiled over last May when he suspected, this time correctly, that Nikki had had an affair with a business contact.
In the recorded message read at the hearing, PC Gibbons gave an account of Nikki's last moments. Detective Sergeant Robin Hind, a colleague, read a transcript that began: 'Dear Mum, please try and think of me. I know what I have done is the most brutal act any human being can do to another . . . I don't know how I did it - my heart was broken . . .
'I went around to Nikki's side of the bed and she turned around and looked at me. I told her to turn over, and she did, and then I jumped on her and held my hand over her mouth, and I could see all the life going out of her. I wanted to stop, I didn't want to hurt my baby.'
Mr Hind told the inquest that the tape was found when officers visited the Gibbons' house in Milton Keynes on 8 June. PC Gibbons' body was found slumped in the Talbot Samba in his garage. Nikki's body, naked apart from a T-shirt, was found in a kneeling position wrapped in bed linen in a shallow grave in the garden.
The inquest was told how the guilt-ridden police officer took a week to kill himself after Nikki's death and tried several methods to take his own life.
He first took hundreds of Paracetamol tablets and a bottle of vodka. When this failed, he tried to cut his wrists but was unable to cut deeply enough to inflict a fatal wound. Eventually, he tried to gas himself for 30 minutes with exhaust fumes from his Renault Clio. However, this method also failed due to the car's catalytic converter. He bought the ageing Talbot car for pounds 400 and it was at the driving seat of this that his body was found.Reuse content