“I killed my father”, he was ‘domineering’, has cancer

Barbara Coombes, 63, sparked a murder investigation when she walked into a police station and made the apparent confession on Sunday.

Mr Barbara accused of murdering her father and burying him in their garden is also said to have claimed his pension for 11 years after he died.

Acting on her information, detectives later dug up the garden of the family’s £127,000 house in Stockport, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom, and found human remains feared to be those of Kenneth Coombes, her father.

A former neighbour of the victim, who was said to be very strict with his daughter and granddaughter, said he ‘vanished’ one day more than a decade ago.

Terry Sever, 70, said “I used to chat with Ken about this new housing development that was going up around the corner.Back in those days I used to work away from home a lot for three weeks a time.

“When I came back home for the weekend next time, Ken had vanished. He had just disappeared. I never found out why. That must have been around 20 years ago.”

Sever said Barbara had lived alone with her father after her mother, Mary, walked out on the marriage.

A prison van arrives at Manchester Magistrates Court ahead of a hearing in which Barbara Coombes was charged with murdering her father and trying to get his money

Mrs Barbara was on 11 January charged with murdering her father in 2006, preventing his lawful burial, fraud by false representation and obtaining a pecuniary advantage.

She is said to have claimed her father’s state pension after writing letters in his name between 2006 and 2017, and to have earned money for being his carer for a year after he died.

Mrs Coombes, a mother-of-one former factory worker, was remanded in custody when she appeared before magistrates in Manchester today.

She smiled briefly as she entered court and spoke only to confirm her name, address and date of birth.

Mrs Coombes, a stocky women with white, loose-curly hair and black-rimmed spectacles, showed no emotion as she was handcuffed to an custody officer and taken to the cells. She will appear in the city’s crown court tomorrow.

Yesterday Mrs Coombes’s ex-husband, Bill, 63, revealed she was suffering from stomach cancer.

Bill Coombes, a former bricklayer who has a daughter, Islay, 29, with his ex-wife from their seven-year marriage, also told MailOnline that his former father-in-law could be ‘domineering.’ 

Other relatives described the ex-soldier, who served as a bombardier in the Royal Regiment of Artillery in the Second World War, as ‘difficult’.

Mr Coombes, who took his wife’s name after they married, said of his former father-in-law: ‘He was a domineering man, a real control freak. 

‘He liked to humiliate people and make them feel small and that included Barbara and Islay.’ 

Alleged victim Kenneth Coombes, a former bombardier from the Royal Regiment of Artillery, had originally lived with his wife Mary, two sons and daughter Barbara at the semi-detached house to the south-east of Manchester.

But his wife is understood to have left him, taking the two sons with her, and she died in the 1970s not long after they split.

Barbara Coombes is understood to have moved back in with her father after she split from her husband.

She lived at the house with her daughter and her father, before he suddenly disappeared over a decade ago.

She is understood to have been living at the house ever since. A post-mortem examination is due to be held to try to determine a cause of death.


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