25/09/2008

Shropshire Mansion Fire Inquest To Begin

An inquest into the deaths of three members of the same family, whose bodies were found in a burnt-out Shropshire mansion, is to begin today.

The bodies of Christopher Foster, 50, his wife Jill, 49, and daughter Kirstie, 15, were found at Osbaston House, Maesbrook on 2 September, following a suspected arson attack.

West Mercia Police believe Foster killed his wife and daughter, before setting their home alight.

Post mortem examination reports, which took place after the fire - which occurred on August 26 - revealed Mrs Foster died from a gunshot wound to the head.

Tests are ongoing to establish the cause of death of Mr Foster and his daughter.

CCTV footage recovered from the house showed a man, believed to be the 50-year-old, carrying a gun around the property, setting the family's stables on fire before driving a horsebox down the driveway and shooting at its tyres.

Police believe Foster, who ran a pipe insulation firm called Ulva Ltd - which went into administration last year - also killed the family animals, including their horses and dogs.

Coroner John Ellery will open the inquest at Shrewsbury Magistrates' Court, which is being carried out for identification purposes.

(JM)

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