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Man battered wife and girl to death

A businessman who battered his wife and daughter to death with a mallet professed his love for his family repeatedly in the moments after their brutal killings, an inquest heard.

Hugh McFall, 48, was found hanged in his industrial lock-up on February 5, four hours after the bodies of his wife, Susan, 56, and daughter, Francesca, 18, were discovered at the family home in Oswestry, Shropshire.

Coroner John Ellery recorded a verdict of suicide for Mr McFall and unlawful killing for Mrs McFall and Francesca, known as Frankie. Both women had sustained extensive head injuries.

A handwritten suicide note found near Mr McFall's body said he hoped to "rot in hell" for what he had done and proclaimed: "I love them so much, nobody can understand. Part of me wants to stay alive just so I can keep thinking about them. The pain is too much."

Mr McFall left another note next to his daughter's body which read: "I love you more than anything I have ever loved, I couldn't let you suffer, Daddy." And in a 999 call he told an operator: "I've just killed my wife and daughter. I love them so much."

A two-day inquest into the three deaths at Shrewsbury Magistrates' Court heard that Mr McFall, a self-employed flower salesman, appeared to have been a devoted family man who "doted" on his wife of 20 years and their daughter.

But business associates told the court they had suspected him of overcharging them more than half a million pounds over a period of seven years and had threatened him with police action.

It also emerged that Mr McFall secretly trawled the internet for prostitute websites and pornography, and researched HIV testing in the months leading up to his death.

John Ellery, Coroner for Mid and North Shropshire, said Mr McFall may have also been driven by business worries and concerns over his "social standing" after losing 95% of his income when his main customer suspended its contract with him.

Mr Ellery said: "His financial world had collapsed, his source of business income or at least 90-95% of it, had disappeared in a moment. Their lifestyle, as he knew it, would be over."


From Belfast Telegraph