Widow of St Neots man Richard Davies - who was shot dead by police - tells inquest of text messages from her terrified children
- Credit: Archant
The widow of a man shot dead by police told an inquest that her eldest child sent her a text message saying: “Dad’s going to kill himself. He’s tied us up. I’m not joking.”
Father-of-three Richard Davies had learned his marriage was over, spent the day drinking then tied up his children when armed police were called to his home, the hearing at Peterborough Town Hall was told on Friday (July 7).
The 41-year-old had fired six shots from inside his home before he died of a single gunshot wound to the chest fired by an officer using his police issue Heckler and Koch G36 assault rifle.
Mr Davies died at the family’s home in St Neots on October 21, 2015.
His widow Samantha, who had been with him for 20 years, told jurors that she was at her sister’s house when she received a text message from one of her children.
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The inquest at Peterborough Town Hall heard that it read: “Call the police. Get them to come to our house. Dad’s going to kill himself. He’s tied us up. I’m not joking.”
She said she went straight to the house and found that one of her children had escaped by jumping from an upstairs window, but she believed her other two children were still in the house.
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She said she banged on the door and her husband opened it.
“He had a very angry look on his face,” said Mrs Davies. “It was almost like a glazed look he had on his face.
“He didn’t really look like my husband although he was my husband.”
She said he later appeared at the door while digging the tip of a kitchen knife slightly into his chest.
Her other two children later escaped by jumping from windows and their aunt took them to her house.
Mrs Davies said police asked her to go into her neighbour’s house, and she recalled armed officers alerting her husband of their presence and him shouting back.
“He was shouting at them to shoot him,” she said.
“He was almost egging them on.”
She said she did not hear everything that happened and was not told that her husband had died until she visited the hospital.
Earlier that day she said she had a conversation with her husband in which “it was made clear that the marriage was over”.
“I think on several occasions he would try to convince me it might be fixable,” she said.
“He was saying he wasn’t sure what his life would be like without me and the children in it.”
But she said “there wasn’t an ounce of anger” and it was a practical conversation about him moving out the following weekend.
“At that point he seemed to have some acceptance around what needed to happen,” said Mrs Davies.
She said she had never seen his home-made gun or ammunition before, and her family were “forever changed” by what happened.
The inquest heard Mr Davies had a troubled past, having battled depression, served time in prison for breaking a man’s jaw, had bowel cancer in 2012 and was signed off work following difficulty with a colleague.
The inquest continues.