Coroner delivers verdict at Wiltshire double shooting inquest

This Is Wiltshire: Bill Dowling Bill Dowling

An inquest into the death of retired police inspector Bill Dowling and his former partner Victoria Rose has decided that Mr Dowling caused his own death and Mrs Rose's death was one of unlawful killing.

Coroner David Ridley, who recorded a narrative verdict, said physical evidence at the scene showed two gun shots were fired leading to Mrs Rose's death and a third, which resulted in the death of Mr Dowling at his home in on the Moonrakers estate, Devizes.

He said: “Shortly after 8.40am on Saturday March 2 Bill shot himself in the head using his shotgun in the porch area of his home. He had recently been diagnosed with anxiety and depression.

“The examination after the death revealed that Bill had not been taking medication as prescribed. I'm satisfied that Bill did die from a deliberate act initiated by himself.

“There was no note left, but I have taken into account the different text messages that Bill recorded on his phone at around 6.26pm the previous day. To me the clear suggestion is that a body would be found in the back garden, that something would happen.

“On the morning of her death Mrs Rose received a call from Mr Dowling asking her to come over as he was bleeding from parts of his body, but this account was not proved at the inquest.”

Mr Ridley said that Mrs Rose was "lured" to the property and, although Mr Dowling suffered from anxiety and depression, he understood what he was doing on the morning itself.

He said: "On entering the house she was confronted by her ex-partner who was holding a shotgun, she turned round and was shot in the head.

“I'm satisfied that, yes, Bill was suffering from depression and anxiety, but there is an awful amount of planning that has gone on.

“Essentially Victoria was lured to the property that morning on the pretence of bogus medical complaints.

“The appropriate conclusion is to record that Victoria Rose's death was one of unlawful killing.”

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