A COUPLE have been found hanged together in an apparent suicide pact after the husband failed to attend court on child abuse charges.
Robert and Ellen Griffiths, both aged 36, were found dead at their modern red brick terraced house in Shawbury Avenue, Kingsway, Gloucester, on Thursday (July 17) when police forced entry to the property.
Both were hanging together from the loft space.
Two days before the grim discovery a warrrant had been issued for Mr Griffiths' arrest when he failed to attend Gloucester Crown Court to be sentenced.
It is believed he and his wife may have been hanging dead since last Monday, the day before his scheduled court appearance.
Griffiths had pleaded guilty at an earlier magistrates court hearing to fifteen charges of possesing indecent images of children and three charges of possessing extreme pornographic images involving animals.
A Gloucestershire police spokesman said "Robert Griffith aged 36, failed to appear at Crown Court on 15/7/14 in connection with the offence of making indecent photographs. There will no further court appearance by Mr Griffith since he is now deceased.
"Police were called to an address in Shawbury Avenue Kingsway on the evening of July 16 where a man and a woman were found dead.
"Their death was confirmed by paramedics shortly after midnight. Police are not treating this as suspicious."
An inquest was opened by Gloucestershire coroner Katy Skerrett today and adjourned until 25th January next year.
Coroner's officer Andy Nicol said "On 17th July concern was raised by Mrs Griffiths' family members that they had not heard from their daughter or her husband.
"They contacted the police and officers went to the property and forced entry.
"Mr Griffiths and Mrs Griffiths were found hanging by the neck from the loft space. There are no suspicious circumstances.
"Post mortem examinations have been carried out and the cause of death in both cases is vasovagal inhibition due to hanging."
He said the bodies of the husband and wife had been identified by their respective fathers.
Shocked neighbours of the couple said today they had no idea that Mr Griffiths was due in court.
The couple were described as 'quiet and unassuming' by neighbours who said they saw them only rarely.
"There were a lot of police cars and ambulances here last Thursday night about midnight and we wondered what was going on," said one neighbour. "It's all very distressing."