A retired company director blasted his elderly wife FOUR times and killed the family dog before turning the gun on himself, an inquest heard today.
Wealthy Donald Knight, 78, and wife Mary, 77, were found dead at their £500,000 luxury home in picturesque Loddington, Northants., on May 1.
The body of Mary – known locally as Margaret – was found inside the couple’s remote country farmhouse while Donald – a keen pheasant shooter – was discovered in the garden.
The former shipping boss had also killed the family’s pet daschund by blasting it with his shotgun before taking his own life.
An inquest at Northampton General Hospital yesterday revealed Mrs Knight was shot four times – twice in the head – and twice in the abdomen.
Professor Guy Rutty, who carried out the post-mortem, said one of the bullets ripped through Mrs Knight’s heart but he concluded she died from her head injuries.
Mr Knight died from a single gunshot wound to the head. He also had an injury to his left shoulder, consistent with falling to the ground.
Mr and Mrs Knight were originally from the village of Old, Northants.
Mr Knight’s family ran Knights of Old – an international haulage company based in nearby Kettering – for many years.
He held the position of chairman at the distribution company until he retired 15 years ago. Another family has owned the business since.
The business was set up by one of his ancestors, William Knight, in 1865.
A statement released by the couple’s family last month said: “We are devastated by this tragic news and wish to thank people for their kind words.
“Donald and Margaret were a couple who loved each other’s company.
“They were lovely parents and grandparents whose passing is a massive loss to our lives.”
Coroner Anne Pember adjourned the inquest to a later date.