A husband flew into a rage and strangled his wife to death before hanging himself while their two-year-old son slept in his cot, an inquest has heard.
Kiril Nemcev, 32, attacked his wife Lana Nemceva, 33, after they argued about her mother moving in with them.
The couple’s lodger made the grim discovery at the couple’s home in Burton, Staffs., on September 4 last year.
An inquest heard Kiril had cable ties around his hands and was found by the banisters while his wife’s lifeless body was on the bathroom floor.
He had a superficial stab wound in his stomach which Lana is thought to have inflicted before he strangled her using a chokehold.
Their two-year-old son Oscar was in the cot in the couple’s bedroom and was unharmed.
The couple had moved to the UK from their native Latvia with Lana getting a job as an optometrist while Kiril worked as a chef at Pizza Express.
But a hearing at South Stafforshire Coroner’s Court heard Kiril had taken medication for anxiety and had researched divorce online before attacking his wife.
The couple’s lodger Yuri Latchis discovered their bodies after returning home after work and finding the front door locked.
He climbed in through the bathroom window at 11pm where he found Lana lying on the bathroom floor.
Detective Chief Inspector Dan Ison, of Staffordshire Police, said the couple’s relationship became strained when Lana’s mother stayed with them.
He told the inquest: “Lana’s mother lived at the property at times as well.
“She was abroad and back home on the day in question. The lodger was at work.
“He returned home shortly after 11pm and found that he couldn’t get into the house as he would normally.
“He had to gain access through his own bathroom window which was insecure.
“He then found the bodies of Kiril and Lana. He then made contact with the emergency services to notify us.
“Kiril’s body was hanging in the stairwell of the ground floor and Lana’s body was found on the floor of the bathroom upstairs.”
Detectives carried out forensic examinations of the scene, including bringing in blood pattern analysis experts, and concluded there was no third party involvement.
“What seems to be supported by the forensic assessment of the scene is there appears to be a first initial attempt by Kiril to hang himself, which for some reason has failed,” Detective Ison said.
Blood splatters suggest Kiril went to the shed in the garden before making his second, successful attempt at taking his own life.
Detective Ison continued: “Working with the available facts that I have is the knife that was recovered from the bathroom next to Lana’s body was more than likely used to inflict such an injury on Kiril.
“It is my belief that it was potentially Lana that may have inflicted that injury on Kiril.
“He had some recent anxiety issues and had been speaking to his local GP about these anxiety issues.
“I believe he received medication to help him with that.
“There was certainly tension around Lana’s mother living at the address with them. It certainly put pressure on the relationship.
“I believe her mother was living there to assist with the child, Oscar.
“I believe that his mother was planning to move back there soon and that certainly had put pressure on the relationship certainly from Kiril’s point of view.
“From their phones, we have understood that is was causing tension in the relationship. It is my belief that Kiril is likely responsible for Lana’s death by pressure to the neck.
“I think the relationship had broken down and I’m aware from telecoms they were researching around divorce lawyers and separation.”
Toxicology showed Kiril had a small amount of alcohol in his system but no drugs.
Pathologist Dr Charlotte Louise Randall told the inquest that he killed his wife by choking her to death, possibly with his arm crushing her neck.
In conclusion, Coroner Andrew Haigh said: “They resided in Burton upon Trent with a lodger and Lana’s mother.
“It is clear from the evidence there were difficulties in the relationship and there had been some inquiries about divorce.
“I also accept the evidence that Kiril had some psychiatric problems, mainly anxiety, and had been prescribed medication.
“Police reached the conclusion there has been an altercation, Lana has stabbed Kiril but he has strangled her and then hanged himself.
“My findings will be as follows: Kiril’s cause of death is a ligature suspension of the neck, known as hanging. On the balance of probabilities is this is suicide while mentally unwell.
“In respect of Lana, the cause of death is compression of the neck, known as strangulation and is unlawful killing.”
Addressing her family, he added: “I am sorry that Kiril and Lana have come to this country to work and I am so sorry that their lives end here in this tragic manner.”
The coroner recorded a verdict of unlawful killing and suicide.