Elderly couple happily married before dementia killing, report finds

Elderly couple happily married before dementia killing, report finds

A woman killed by her husband was believed never to have experienced domestic abuse before, a report found.

Hilda Hubbard was repeatedly stabbed by her husband Michael, who had dementia, at their Norfolk bungalow in September 2018.

The pair had been happy, riding in a scooter and sidecar they had called “Wallace and Gromit”, the report said.

The Domestic Homicide Review said there were “many examples of good practice” by professionals involved with them.

Mr Hubbard was later detained in a secure mental health unit after he was found to be unfit to stand trial over the death of his wife, who he had been married to for 50 years.

Neighbours rang 999 after they saw Mr Hubbard standing in the doorway of their home in Brooke, near Norwich, with his wife, known as Frances, lying on the ground.

Police fired a rubber bullet at the pensioner, who was 81 at the time, before taking him to hospital and later charging him with murder.

The review into her death, which does not use the couple’s real names, was carried out to examine what could be learned from the case.

It looked at the roles of organisations involved with the couple from July 2014, when Mr Hubbard first raised concerns about his memory loss.

The “community-minded” and “traditional” couple were described as “very private”, “self-sufficient” and “proud” of their children who both achieved master’s degrees.

Mr Hubbard was forced to retire at the age of 43 after suffering health problems from breaking his back when he was 20.

“Life didn’t turn out for either of them as they had expected, but they eventually won through and made an enviable life for themselves,” their daughter told the report’s author.

The couple became even more private following Mr Hubbard’s diagnosis in 2014, and Mrs Hubbard – as her husband ‘s carer – had refused offers of support, the report said.

In summary, it found there had been “notable practice” by their GP, social housing provider and police, after an officer was called to them the day before Mrs Hubbard’s death regarding a theft allegation.

It said the examples should be reinforced and shared across Norfolk and made a number of other recommendations.

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