Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Wife Insists: He'd Never Have Killed Himself. His Wife Joanna Steve Chapman, Who Katie Davies

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Wife Insists: He'd Never Have Killed Himself. His Wife Joanna Steve Chapman, Who Katie Davies

Article excerpt

Byline: Katie Davies Chief reporter katie.davies@ncjmedia.co.uk

THE wife of stabbed solicitor Peter Maine insisted her husband wouldn't have killed himself despite the mystery surrounding his death.

The 56-year-old was found dead after going for a run along the River Wear near to Durham City in 2013.

Detectives investigated whether he was targeted by a killer, was the victim of a random attack or inflicted the fatal injuries himself.

But those probes all drew a blank - causing coroner Andrew Tweddle to deliver an open verdict at an inquest into Mr Maine's death.

Giving evidence at the hearing at Crook Civic Centre, in County Durham, his wife Joanna insisted her husband wouldn't have inflicted the fatal wounds on himself.

Joanna, who first met Mr Maine in the 1980s, said: "We were planning for the future."

Mr Maine was under investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority following a complaint by a client, as well as facing a conspiracy to defraud charge.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Chapman, who led the inquiry into the dad-of-two's death, said officers looked at 65 people who may have had recent contact with Mr Maine and may have had reason to want to harm him.

A three-month search - costing police a staggering PS30,000 - resulted in police finding six weapons, two of which were sent forensic testing but examinations proved fruitless.

Mr Maine's home was also raided as part of the probe and officers discovered he had a keen interest in Leatherman knives.

But further investigations found that none were missing from his collection of 18.

Robbery was also ruled out as a motive as he was found with his Rolex watch, wallet and keys.

After hearing the evidence Mr Tweddle said he T was unable to come to any firm conclusions about how the solicitor died.

He said: "I can't be sure beyond responsible doubt that Peter Maine intended to take his own life. He might have done but might is not sufficient."

He then went on to say: "He might have been killed by someone else but again might is not sufficient. I have to be sure to enable me to return such a conclusion and I cannot be. …

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