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Friday, 12 January 2018

First footage of daughter, 63, accused of murdering war hero father and burying him in back garden - filmed days before she walked into a police station to confess ‘I killed him’

  • CCTV footage shows Barbara Coombes walking along pavement in Stockport 
  • The white-haired 63-year-old was seen carrying her washing to launderette 
  • Murder probe was sparked this week when Coombes walked into a police station
  • Detectives have since dug up her back garden and found the body of a man 
  • Neighbours say woman's  father, Kenneth Coombes 'vanished' 12 years ago
  • Coombes was today charged with murder and remanded in custody
  • Her brother, Michael, today said he doesn't want anything to do with the case 
  • Do you know Kenneth Coombes...? Email tips@dailymail.com

  • Footage of a woman accused of murdering her war hero father - filmed just days before she allegedly confessed to the killing - can be disclosed for the first time by MailOnline.
    Carrying her washing to a local launderette, Barbara Coombes, with her distinct white hair and bulky frame, cut a lonely figure as she trundled along the pavement.
    Pictured ten days before Christmas the 63-year-old appeared tired and ill while she carried out her weekly washing chore at the Spring-Clean launderette.
    The mother-of-one, who has stomach cancer, sparked a murder inquiry after walking into a police station and allegedly telling officers she had buried him in her back garden more than a decade ago.
    The remains of Kenneth Coombes, were discovered this week in the back garden of the family home in Stockport, Greater Manchester.
    ‘Barbara came here every week to do her washing,’ a launderette worker told MailOnline.

    Footage of a woman accused of murdering her war hero father - filmed just days before she allegedly confessed to the killing - can be disclosed for the first time by MailOnline

    Footage of a woman accused of murdering her war hero father - filmed just days before she allegedly confessed to the killing - can be disclosed for the first time by MailOnline

    Carrying her washing to a local launderette Coombes, with her distinct white hair and bulky frame, cut a lonely figure as she trundled along the pavement
    Carrying her washing to a local launderette Coombes, with her distinct white hair and bulky frame, cut a lonely figure as she trundled along the pavement

    Michael Coombes has decribed his father Kenneth Coombes (pictured in his younger years) as a World War Two hero and a 'true gentleman'Michael Coombes (pictured) has decribed his father Kenneth Coombes  as a World War Two hero and a 'true gentleman'
    Michael Coombes (right) has decribed his father Kenneth Coombes (pictured, left, in his younger years) as a World War Two hero and a 'true gentleman'

    A prison van arrives at Manchester Magistrates Court today ahead of a hearing in which Barbara Coombes was charged with murdering her father and trying to get his money
    ‘I remember seeing her before Christmas. She looked tired and ill. The side of her face was all swollen, probably from the cancer.
    ‘I remember she came in early, at about 9 o’clock. She is a quiet lady. Everyone was ever so surprised when she handed herself into police.' 
    Coombes was today charged with murdering her father in 2006, preventing his lawful burial, fraud by false representation and obtaining a pecuniary advantage.
    As the footage emerged, her devastated brother Michael was left reeling by the news and said he doesn't want anything to do with the murder case
    He told The Sun Online: 'I'm very upset about it all. I just don't want anything to do with the case.'
    Kenneth, who served with distinction during WW2 and was awarded a string of awards for his service, spoke with pride about Michael in the final years of his life. 
    In a letter seen by the newspaper, the proud dad boasted to a friend about Michael's visit during one New Year's Eve.

    In 2001, he wrote: 'My son Michael came up to see us Sunday last with some presents for Islay and Chocolates for us.
    'He is a keen Bird Watcher and is looking forward to going off on a few weeks to look at birds in the jungle in Gambia, a tiny country in the middle of the bulge of west Africa. 
    'They have been to the desert and the Dead Sea in Israel as well. I am hoping he does not get bitten by anything or the insects out there and that he gets back all right.'  
    Mrs Coombes 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.

    Forensics enter a house in Stockport after a man's body was found in a back garden
    Forensics enter a house in Stockport after a man's body was found in a back garden

    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. 
    Family friends, talking exclusively to MailOnline, have described Mr Coombes as a World War Two hero and a 'true gentleman'.
    A family friend last night described body buried in the garden murder victim Kenneth Coombes as a 'true gentleman who served his country'.
    Roy Cosgrove, 73, a family friend of Mr Coombes, told MailOnline: 'I used to call him uncle because he was a friend of my mother Lillian from when she was growing up. There were just four years between them.
    'I used to play with Barbara and the boys. He was always a gentleman who served his country and I kept in touch with Ken after growing up.
    Roy Cosgrove (pictured), 73, a family friend of Mr Coombes, told MailOnline he used to call him uncle and described him as a true gentleman
    Roy Cosgrove (pictured), 73, a family friend of Mr Coombes, told MailOnline he used to call him uncle and described him as a true gentleman
    'I know he served in the war and wrote a book about it. He was really intelligent.
    'My mother and Kenneth stayed as friends and he'd come round to her house and also came round to ours.
    'He was always a nice man from what I knew. One example of his generosity was when I was 16 and I got my first moped he said here's a fiver towards the petrol.
    'Barbara went to my mother's a few years so before she died to say Ken had passed away from cancer.
    'There wasn't even any mention of a funeral. My mother was so upset.'
    Mr Cosgrove's wife Pamela, 70, said: 'The last time I saw Ken was when he came for a meal with my mother-in-law.
    'After that, we heard he'd had a fall and hurt his leg, then the next thing we knew was that he'd had cancer and supposedly passed away.
    'My mother in law was devastated. She hadn't even been invited to the funeral. Barbara said it was over and done with.
    'Everything passed in a haze. The funny thing was when my husband took him home, Ken wouldn't let him drop him off outside his house. It was always at the end of the road.
    'As far as I knew, he was a very quiet, placid, intelligent man. He was a gent. My husband has known him from when he was a child.' 
    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.'
    Police found a body, believed to be that of pensioner Kenneth Coombes, in the back garden of a semi-detached house in Stockport this week. His daughter, Barbara, has now been charged with murder, fraud and other charges
    Police found a body, believed to be that of pensioner Kenneth Coombes, in the back garden of a semi-detached house in Stockport this week. His daughter, Barbara, has now been charged with murder, fraud and other charges
    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.

    A forensics tent can be seen in the back garden of the property where human remains, believed to be those of Kenneth Coombes, have been discovered

    A forensics tent can be seen in the back garden of the property where human remains, believed to be those of Kenneth Coombes, have been discovered

    Police moved in and dug up the garden of the semi-detached home where locals said children used to play after a woman went to police and said she had killed her father
    Police moved in and dug up the garden of the semi-detached home where locals said children used to play after a woman went to police and said she had killed her father
    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.
    Former neighbour Terry Sever, 70, remembered Kenneth Coombes being very strict with Barbara and her daughter.
    He told MailOnline: 'If he wanted to watch something on television, her and her daughter used to have to go out of the room. He was very strict.
    'To my knowledge this man Kenneth just disappeared. I was not that friendly to ask where he went. I just did not see him anymore.
    'From 1995 I was home virtually all day and I do not remember him passing my front window and I am sure he would have done.
    'It just all seems so unreal, like something from the television. I wish I could remember more, but I do recall the woman's father being strict.' 

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