Inquest adjourned into death of man at centre of Sunderland murder probe

An inquest into the death of a Sunderland man who was at the centre of a police murder probe has been adjourned.

Alan Matthew Martin, of Gardiner Square, Grindon, and his wife Kay Michelle Martin, 49, were both found dead in her home in Shrewsbury Crescent, Humbledon, on the evening of Thursday, September 20.

Police in Shrewsbury Crescent

Police in Shrewsbury Crescent

Police were initially called to the property after receiving a report of concern for a woman at around 8.30pm.

A murder investigation, which was subsequently launched by Northumbria Police, put Mr Martin, 53, at the centre of his wife's death.

Police did not suspect any third party involvement in his death and at his inquest opening last year Sunderland's senior coroner Derek Winter said it appeared he had killed himself.

Members of Mr Martin's family attended a pre-inquest review into his death which was held at Sunderland Coroner's Court at Sunderland Civic Centre today.

Alan Martin was at the centre of a murder probe launched by police

Alan Martin was at the centre of a murder probe launched by police

Yesterday family members of Mrs Martin raised concerns that they did not want an inquest into both their deaths to be held together.

The Safer Sunderland Partnership is currently preparing a domestic homicide review which looks into deaths which resulted from violence, abuse or neglect.

Mr Winter said: "A domestic homicide review is being carried out by Safer Sunderland Partnership because the criteria for the review is fulfilled as per the Home Office guidance."

The coroner's office is awaiting further documents including a report by the independent office of police conduct which is due to arrive shortly.

A spokesman for Sunderland City Council has confirmed the domestic homicide review is being carried out by the Safer Sunderland Partnership.

A domestic homicide review is carried out when the circumstances in which the death of a person aged 16 or over has or appears to have resulted from violence, abuse or neglect by a person whom he/she was related or had been in an intimate personal relationship, or a member of the same household.

Domestic Homicide Reviews are multi-agency reviews and are carried out to make sure lessons are learned regarding the way in which local professionals and organisations work individually and together to safeguard victims.

Their purpose is not to reinvestigate the death or apportion blame.

The partnership includes Sunderland City Council, Northumbria Police, Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, National Probation Service and Northumbria Community Rehabilitation Company.

The inquest was adjourned until July 23 which is the day after Mrs Martin's inquest will next be held at the coroner's court.

Mr Winter added: "We have got to start the build up to the process of the inquest hearing.

"I am adjourning until July 23 at which time I expect to fix a hearing date of when the inquest will be heard."