Abingdon mum inquest
13 May 2010, 14:52
An inquest's heard an Abingdon mum was stabbed to death by her fiance, days after he was released on bail after admitting attacking her.
Julie Sudlow, 41, (pictured) who had four children, was found dead at a house in Waterlooville, Hampshire, in August 2009. Former Army officer Stewart Shaw took his own life later the same day by throwing himself under a train close to Winchester railway station.
The inquest in Portsmouth was told the two had met on Facebook just ten months before. On 18 July 2009, Ms Sudlow had locked herself in the bathroom at Mr Shaw's home in Waterlooville and dialled 999, reporting that he had struck her across the face.
Police went to the house and Mr Shaw was arrested and charged with common assault. As part of his bail conditions, he was told not to contact Ms Sudlow, but within half an hour of his release he sent her two mobile phone text messages.
The first read: "It's highly likely that I am going to prison, you know I can't do that. Thanks for ruining my life over a slap." The second read: "My blood is on your hands, see you in the next life, this life sucks anyway."
Ms Sudlow, who still lived at the same home as her former husband in Abingdon, contacted police and Mr Shaw was arrested again, charged with breaching his bail conditions and remanded in custody. He was brought before Portsmouth Magistrates' Court on 29 July where he pleaded guilty and the case was adjourned for sentencing on 20 August 2009.
Mr Shaw was released on bail again with the condition of not contacting Ms Sudlow. But Detective Sergeant Damon Kennard of Hampshire Police told the inquest that the following day Mr Shaw was caught on CCTV travelling towards Oxfordshire and he believed he visited Ms Sudlow.
He said that on the next day the couple travelled to the Isle of Wight for a planned holiday to watch a concert. The couple went to the cinema in Portsmouth on 6 August, the day before they died, and they were seen arm in arm on CCTV.
Prior to taking his own life, the father-of-two called his wife Donna, who he was still married to, who described his manner as if he was "having a breakdown."
He also told her to "promise, promise'' not to take his daughters to his house. After his death, British Transport Police officers attended his home where they found blood in the hallway with Ms Sudlow's body concealed under a duvet in the bedroom.
Portsmouth and South East Hampshire Coroner David Horsley recorded a verdict of unlawful killing for Ms Sudlow and suicide for Mr Shaw.
He said: "No-one can imagine the pain that both families have gone through in relation to these two deaths."
A statement released by Ms Sudlow's family following her death said: "We are devastated by Julie's unexpected death under such tragic circumstances.
"Julie was a good mother, daughter, sister, auntie and friend. She was happy and looking forward to the future.
"We are trying to come to terms with what has happened and would like to thank everyone for their messages of sympathy and support. We appreciate all the support from the police and the progress they are making with their investigations
"We request privacy at this very difficult time to come to terms with our loss."
Tributes were also left on Ms Sudlow's page on the Facebook social networking site.
Her son Andrew Sudlow wrote: "mum please come back!!!!! i need you!!!"
Another son, Martin, wrote: "im playing beyonce, try and help me to sleep - i know how you loved that album."
Her sister Sharon Malone wrote: "i love you so much miss you already little sis."
You can leave your own tribute to Julie using the form below.