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Mary – as identified in the report – had been married to Henry for 50 years. They were an independent couple, self-sufficient, wary of strangers and very private. Mary took full responsibility for caring for Henry’s deteriorating mental and physical health, despite offers of support. Until Mary’s murder, domestic abuse was not apparent. However, there were elements of behaviour within their relationship that relate to traditional gender roles not uncommon in older people, but are now understood to be indicative of a level of coercion and control.
There are lessons for health, social care and housing in how they recognise mounting pressures within relationships where there is increasing carer dependency.
Domestic Homicide Review reports are hosted on the NSAB website on behalf of the Norfolk County Community Safety Partnership.