EXCLUSIVE Farmer shot dead his wife in ‘murder-suicide’ at their home on isolated farm after discovering she was having an affair, friend claims
A farmer’s wife who died in a suspected murder-suicide alongside her estranged husband had been having an affair, it was claimed today.
Richard Harrison is believed to have shot wife Rachel, 54, at their isolated farm before turning the weapon on himself.
Today a friend of the 59-year-old sheep and cattle farmer believed Mr Harrison killed his wife – the district commissioner of her local branch of the Pony Club – after she found another lover.
The friend said: ‘He and his wife split up not very long ago, but she had been seeing another man. He only recently told me, but I think it had been going on for a while. He suspected, because she was coming home late at night, that kind of thing.
‘They weren’t living together, but she would come back and cook meals, that kind of thing.
‘But it is still a shock. I only saw him last week, and he seemed in a positive, sound frame of mind. He’d lost weight and was looking well. There was no suggestion this was going to happen.’
Rachel Harrison, 54, (pictured) was found dead alongside her husband Richard, 59, at their farm in the village of Saddington, Leicestershire
Richard Harrison (pictured) is believed to have shot wife Rachel, 54, at their isolated farm before turning the weapon on himself, a friend claims
The Harrisons were found dead at their farm in the village of Saddington, Leicestershire on Friday.
A post-mortem examination later confirmed that both died from gunshot wounds.
Detectives from Leicestershire Police said an investigation was ongoing but they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.
The couple are thought to have two children together, while Mr Harrison also has children from a previous marriage.
As well as running the cattle farm, the couple delivered eggs locally.
The friend, who asked to remain anonymous, added: ‘Richard was very knowledgeable, and very well liked. Everybody sympathised with him, and had time for him.
‘It will be a very busy funeral, a big turnout.’
READ MORE: Police probe ‘murder-suicide’ as man and woman are found dead in Midlands village of Saddington
A resident from a nearby property said: ‘They were a lovely couple and a really nice family. We have no idea why this would have happened. It is like something from a horror film.
‘Rachel would deliver eggs to my house, and we would see Richard riding his horse and moving his sheep up the road. It is a horrendous shock specially so close to Christmas.’
One friend said the couple ‘seemed so together’.
‘I am finding it all very shocking and hope their family are getting all the support they need,’ she said.
Police were called to the village – home to just 300 – just before 11am on Friday 15 December by East Midlands Ambulance Service following a report of a man and a woman found dead.
Detective inspector David Greenhalgh, from the East Midlands special operations unit major crime team, said: ‘This is a deeply tragic incident and officers are continuing to support the family during this extremely difficult time.
‘We will continue to carry out enquiries to establish the full circumstances surrounding this incident, but I can confirm we do not believe anyone else was involved in the incident and a file will be prepared for H.M. Coroner.’
Facebook users paid tribute online. Lee Sanderson. said: ‘Sad news about Richard Harrison from Saddington…just shows you never know what’s going on in someone’s head, thoughts are with the family.
Carol O’Neill said the Harrisons delivered their eggs. ‘Devastating news. ..what is going on in the world …cannot believe it.’
Simon Knight added: ‘Very sad to hear about this…rest in peace my friend.’
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