Cheadle woman Karen Climpson stabbed lover Mark Chandler 90 times then killed herself
A WOMAN with a history of depression stabbed her boyfriend of 18 years to death in a "frenzied" assault before killing herself.
Karen Climpson stabbed Mark Chandler up to 90 times with a knife and a pair of scissors at their home in January.
She continued the attack even after Mark had bled to death from a wound to his neck.
Karen, who had twice previously tried to kill herself, then slit her own neck with a razor blade.
Details of the incident were revealed during a joint inquest at Hartshill yesterday.
But North Staffordshire Coroner Ian Smith – who ruled Mark was unlawfully killed and Karen had committed suicide – said the full truth behind the case would never be known.
He said: "We don't have all the facts. I would wish to know from Mark and Karen why they ended up the way they did. Was it some sort of domestic argument that got totally out of hand? We could speculate forever on that.
"I am satisfied that Mark came by his death at the hands of Karen. I think the likelihood is that in this frenzy, Karen, temporarily, completely lost her mind."
The inquest heard Karen's mother Barbara Hodgkinson and brother Paul Climpson had visited the couple's Ness Grove home, in Cheadle, on the afternoon of January 2, after becoming concerned for their welfare. Mrs Hodgkinson had not seen her daughter for several days.
She said: "I wanted to go round to put my mind at rest. I had a horrible feeling something had happened. The curtains were drawn downstairs and the door was locked. I was really panicking. I knew something had happened."
Mr Climpson forced his way inside and discovered Mark's bloodied and naked body sprawled halfway down the stairs, with a pool of dried blood beneath him. Mrs Hodgkinson, who initially thought the body was Karen's, became "hysterical" with grief.
But it was not until police searched the property that Karen was found dead in the upstairs bathroom.
Detectives believe the incident began in the bathroom, where Mark was about to have a bath. There was a struggle between the couple, during which Mark was stabbed several times and fell, or was pushed, down the stairs.
He suffered a fatal wound to the neck, but Karen continued to stab him with a pair of scissors.
Karen then walked to the kitchen and went outside, presumably to dispose of the murder weapons, before returning to the bathroom, where she killed herself.
The inquest also heard how Karen had been prescribed various anti-depressants over the years, but her symptoms kept returning. Despite these difficulties, the couple had remained in a loving relationship and raised Karen's daughter Sophie together.
Following the inquest Mrs Hodgkinson said: "Two people lost their lives because of mental health care."