Norfolk

Norfolk Broads deaths: Annette Creegan killed by partner

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Media captionThe boat hired by Annette Creegan and John Didier was examined by forensic officers

A man killed his partner before drowning himself during a holiday on the Norfolk Broads, an inquest heard.

The body of hospice nurse Annette Creegan, 49, was found in the River Bure last September following a police search.

John Didier, 41, was found drowned nearby, Norwich Coroner's Court heard.

The inquest was told that after strangling Ms Creegan, Mr Didier spent a week on board the cruiser with a 13-year-old girl.

Norfolk coroner William Armstrong recorded a verdict that Ms Creegan died as a result of unlawful killing, probably on 25 August.

'Deliberate decision'

He recorded a verdict that Mr Didier committed suicide on either 31 August or 1 September.

The inquest was told Ms Creegan had bruising on her wrists, suggesting she had attempted to fight off Mr Didier.

Det Insp Gary Bloomfield said: "I'm confident in saying John Didier had killed Annette and then taken his own life a number of days later.

"It seems he had in some way planned the events of that week.

"There was no evidence he was mentally impaired and it was a deliberate decision to kill Annette then drown himself."

A police search began after a river worker alerted police on 1 September that a girl was alone on the boat, moored near Salhouse Broad.

Broads Authority ranger Andrew Ellson said he noticed the boat moored in the secluded spot several days earlier.

He said: "The curtains were closed and the motor was running. I knocked on the side of the boat and the window opened. I saw a young girl who told me she was by herself."

Police said Mr Didier's motive remained unclear and there was no evidence of tension in his relationship with Ms Creegan.

Ms Creegan, born in Balham, south London, worked as a community nurse for the Trinity Hospice charity in Clapham Common, south-west London.

American Mr Didier, originally from Kettering, Ohio, had worked in IT for the NHS but was unemployed at the time.

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