Mum-of-three ‘stabbed with such force the whole knife was buried in her stomach’

A mum-of-three was stabbed with such force the whole knife, including the handle, was buried in her stomach, an inquest has heard.

Martin Griffiths, 48, and Helen Hancock, 39, were both found dead at a property in Duffield, Derbyshire, on New Year’s Eve.

Chesterfield Coroners' Court heard the entire murder weapon was buried inside Helen's body when paramedics found her.

Her estranged husband, headteacher Rhys Hancock, 39, of Portland Street, Etwall, has been charged with murdering the lovers after he was arrested at the scene after dialling 999.

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On Monday, the openings of inquests into both the victims' deaths heard details of post-mortem examinations.

Derbyshire's senior coroner Dr Robert Hunter told the inquest: "Helen Hancock had suffered multiple stab wounds, some of which indicated the use of severe force.

"A knife was recovered from the abdomen. The whole of the knife being within the body. There was also evidence of defence injuries."

Martin Griffiths, 48, also died in the incident and a post-mortem carried out on his body also found multiple stab wounds, especially to his left shoulder and the right side of his neck.

His body also had injuries consistent with him trying to defend himself.

The court heard both Hancock and Griffiths were still married but estranged from their spouses.

The couple were discovered at the £400,000 detached property in Duffield, Derbyshire, the early hours of New Years' Day, Det. Insp. Steve Shaw of Derbyshire Police told the court.

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"Both had suffered stab wounds, also at the scene was Helen's estranged husband, who has since been arrested and charged with their murders," he said.

Both inquests were adjourned pending the outcome of ongoing criminal proceedings.

Rhys Hancock has appeared at Derby Crown Court, but has not entered a plea.

He is next due in court on February 28, with a provisional trial date scheduled for August 24.

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