University worker who killed his wife then himself ‘had history of mental health issues’

A university worker who killed his wife then himself in a suspected murder-suicide had a history of mental health issues, an inquest heard.

Thomas Kemp, 32, was found covered in blood outside the communal entrance to the Ipswich block of flats where the couple lived.

He apparently fell from a window, Suffolk area coroner Jacqueline Devonish said, adding that he had “laceration” injuries.

Police forced entry to their flat in Siloam Place (pictured) and found the body of his wife Katherine Kemp, 31, in a “pool of blood”.

Ms Devonish said that Mrs Kemp had defensive injuries to her hands and “significant stab wounds to the chest”, including to the heart and lungs.

Mrs Kemp suffered 28 knife wounds, the inquest in Ipswich heard on Wednesday.

The married couple were both pronounced dead shortly after 9.30am on August 6 last year.

Dr Michael McCullagh, senior partner at the GP surgery where the couple were both registered, said Mr Kemp first presented with mental health issues in 2016.

He said Mr Kemp was urgently referred to mental health services in 2017 after he threw himself on the floor of the surgery during an appointment. Mr Kemp said he felt it was “not worth being alive” and started to “strangulate himself with his tie”.

Mental health worker Chantal Eoche-Duval said she assessed Mr Kemp after the “meltdown” and said he told her he was “conscious about the size of his genitalia” and had been on the “receiving end of jokes and digs about it”.

He told her he felt that people at work made comments about his size and he had seen escorts for reassurance, she said.

Psychiatric nurse Julie Murphy said that in a separate assessment in July 2018 Mr Kemp told her he also had sex with escorts and felt “guilty” about this.

“He went on to say he had told his wife about his use of escorts,” she said.

“However, it was unclear if he had told her the full truth that he had used them for sex or just that it was to reassure him.”

She said he appeared to be suffering from a “high level of anxiety”.

“He did fear he would lose his relationship with his wife should she become aware of the full extent of his use of escorts,” Ms Murphy said.

His father John Kemp said in a statement that his son “thought the world of Katherine”.

“He idolised her,” he said. “They were so in love with each other.”

His mother Marian Mitchell said in a statement that Mr Kemp was “besotted” with his wife, adding: “I cannot believe he would hurt her.”

“It was horrible thinking they had both gone and Tom had been the reason,” she said.

Mr Kemp worked as a course administrator at the University of Suffolk.

Suffolk Police said at the time of the incident that Mrs Kemp’s death was being treated as murder and Mr Kemp’s death was being treated as not suspicious.

The force said it was not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.

The inquest, listed for a week, continues.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Sam Russell / PA Wire.

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