Couple found shot dead on same day bailiffs came to evict them from mansion

A couple were found dead in a suspected double suicide the day bailiffs were called to evict them from their five-bedroom home, an inquest heard.

John Richardson, 74, and his wife Angela, 64, both left suicide notes and died from shotgun wounds to their chests on the grounds of their mansion home near Goring-on-Thames, South Oxfordshire.

Yesterday, an inquest into their death’s revealed they were found by police who were called to the sprawling Bensgrove Farm after bailiffs failed to get a response and found a note pinned to the door.

Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter heard bailiffs were going to evict Mr Richardson, a former journalist and publisher and his wife, Angela Richardson, formerly a company manager, over financial problems.

Mr Salter opened the inquest into the two deaths yesterday in the Oxfordshire Coroner’s Office following the double-death tragedy in the quiet and peaceful hamlet of Goring Heath.

He said: “Today I am opening the inquest into John Richardson and his wife Angela Richardson. John Richardson was a 74-year-old man born in Yorkshire, and a retired journalist and publisher.

“He resided at Bensgrove Farm, Goring Heath, near Reading with his wife, who was a company director. His death was confirmed at his home address at 10.50am when a police officer verified the death.

“Following a post-mortem examination, the cause of death was listed as a shotgun wound to the chest. His body was identified by his brother-in-law.

“Angela Richardson, aged 64 years, was a married female who was born in Northampton and formerly a company director. She was married to John Richardson and she was confirmed to have died at Bensgrove Farm a police officer verified the death.

“A post-mortem report revealed the cause of death as a shotgun wound to the chest. Her identity was confirmed by her brother at the John Radcliffe Hospital mortuary in Oxford.”

The coroner added: “The details that have been provided are that John Richardson had been struggling with financial difficulties. Bailiffs attended the property for eviction. Upon their arrival the enforcement officers found a note on the door, saying they were in the woods at the top of the garden and to notify the police.

“Police were notified and reported the bodies of a male and female in the wood, with gunshot injuries. A handwritten and a typed note were found inside the property, in the nature of suicide notes.”

The coroner confirmed that inquiries into the deaths were ongoing and that the next inquest hearing into the couple’s deaths will take place on January 18 next year.