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Scorned Husband Stabbed Wife To Death And Set Fire To Himself After She Asked For Divorce

A jilted husband stabbed his wife to death as she slept in bed before killing himself in a fireball after she asked for a divorce, an inquest heard.

Scorned James Barnes, 30, had been struggling to come to terms with the impending split from his wife Amy, 32, three years after they tied the knot.

An inquest heard the graphic designer plunged a kitchen knife into the neck of neo-natal nurse Amy as she lay sleeping following a hospital night shift.

He then drove 15 miles to his parents’ bungalow where he set fire to himself at around midnight on September 25.

Facbook picture of Amy Barnes.

Birmingham Coroners Court heard Amy had recently told her husband she wanted a divorce after the pair had seen a guidance counsellor.

A small blue notebook discovered by police near Amy’s body detailed the pair’s marital woes and was signed by her husband.

Today Birmingham Senior Coroner Louise Hunt recorded a verdict of unlawful killing.

She said: “She was killed unlawfully by her husband.

“She had recently told her husband she wanted a divorce and several hours after her death, he set fire to himself.”

Police and forensics at Cofton Park Close, Rednal, West Midlands, where the body of Amy Barnes was found.

Amy’s body was discovered by her mum Val Shimell, 68, and sister at the couple’s £190,000 home in Cofton Park Close, Rednal, Birmingham.

Tragic Amy had no “defensive injuries” as her crazed partner attacked her while she slept, the inquest was told.

Aspiring personal fitness trainer James then killed himself at his parents’ £160,000 home in Linforth Drive, Streetly, Sutton Coldfield, West Mids.

Just hours earlier he had posted a happy wedding day photo on Facebook showing them arm in arm and covered in confetti.

Police at 27 Linforth Drive, Streetly, West Midlands where the body of James Barnes was discovered.

Speaking at the time of her death mum Val said: “Amy was a fantastic, funny, beautiful and caring girl.

“The truth is Amy was a precious gift to so many people, who smiled with her eyes.

“Everything you would like to say about a beautiful human being inside and out, Amy was.

“She was loved so much not only by her parents, sisters, grandparents aunties and cousins but so many of her friends. Shine bright my angel.”

Facebook picture of James and Amy Barnes

Former colleagues and patients of Amy, who worked at Birmingham Women’s Hospital, described her as “the most caring person you could ever wish for”.

She would also talk at work about how much she loved her husband and made out they “were a match made in heaven.”

But just a day before the tragedy a friend of James said he had been told the couple were suffering relationship problems and had been going through a “bad patch”.

Verdict: Unlawful killing.

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