Barbara Coombes

Daughter finds photos of herself in dad’s porn collection — and kills him

The father allegedly abused her for years, and may have fathered her child

A British woman who killed her father and buried him in the backyard after discovering his child porn collection will spend nine years in prison for the slaying.

The Manchester Evening News reports that Barbara Coombes, 63, admitted to killing Kenneth Coombes 12 years earlier when the man was in his late 80s. Police started their investigation earlier this year after Barbara walked into Cheadle Heath police station and admitted to killing her father and burying his body in the backyard of her semi-detached Manchester home.

According to The Times, Barbara was characterized as a “quiet and timid” woman who had “snapped” after allegedly suffering 40 years of abuse committed by her ex-military father. The Guardian reported that the woman told a psychiatrist that her father had sexually abused her since she was 5 and had raped her hundreds of times throughout her life. A court learned that Kenneth possibly fathered Barbara’s first child who died shortly after birth.

Kenneth allegedly abused Barbara up until his death. Barbara also recounted her father groping her breasts as she entered her 50s.

In January 2006, Barbara became incensed after finding a box containing photographs depicting child abuse. The court was told that recalled a “black cloud” coming over her upon realizing that naked photos of herself and another child were in her elderly father’s collection.

According to The Times, the discovery led her to walk into the living room of their family home and hit Kenneth over the back of the head with a shovel. While attempting to hit him a second time, the shovel’s edge lacerated Kenneth’s throat—causing him to bleed out in the living room.

Facing murder charges, the Manchester woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to the lesser charge of manslaughter. The presiding judge didn’t believe she acted in self-defense but did accept that she was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and severe depression brought forth by decades of “extreme mental, physical, and sexual abuse” at her father’s hands.

The judge also argued that Barbara likely confessed to police as residents were becoming suspicious of Kenneth’s whereabouts.

According to the Guardian, a housing association official had conducted welfare checks but was repeatedly rebuffed by Barbara. On one occasion, Barbara claimed her father, who would’ve been 99, was at a Buddhist retreat in Manchester. The Times reported that she told her brother and daughter that Kenneth had died suddenly from a heart condition and was cremated.

“I accept the effect of the abuse over the years on you has been devastating. The history of abuse may explain but not justify the taking of life,” the judge said.

“Some may think the sentence wholly inadequate, given what you did. Others may say it is far too much given the history of abuse. I have no doubt it is an appropriate sentence.”

 

 

[Featured Image: Barbara Coombes/Greater Manchester Police]