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Family of Gillian Knowles who was found dead in her Upton home say it's still 'too raw' to talk about

BRAVE children of a mother who was found stabbed and asphyxiated in her Upton home have said her tragic death is still too raw to talk about.
The family of Gillian Knowles who was found dead in her Upton home have said it’s still too raw for them to speak about

BRAVE children of a mother who was found stabbed and asphyxiated in her Upton home have said her tragic death is still too raw to talk about.

James McElroy, of Alpraham, near Tarporley, father to Gillian Knowles’s children Daniel and Phillippa, said the feeling was still too raw but Daniel, 26, a quantity surveyor living in Chester, will speak when the time is right.

On Monday an inquest was opened and adjourned into the deaths of Caughall Road residents Paul Knowles, 50, a HGV driver who was found hanged, and his wife Gillian, 51, a former area manger for the Co-op pharmacy in Cheshire, although it is understood their bodies have not been released to the families for funeral arrangements.

Post mortem examinations on Friday confirmed the causes of death of the couple who were found by police at midday last Wednesday after a neighbour spotted a note reading ‘please call the police’ taped to the front door.

Neighbour Arnold Johnston, 78, retired head of security at Chester Zoo, has lived at his Caughall Road home for 15 years with his wife Mary, 77, raised the alarm.

He said: “I saw it first thing when I was taking my grandchildren to school but I didn’t read it and didn’t bother about it.

“I thought they must have left it because I hadn’t seen them all morning, which was unusual.

“Later I went out and read it.

“When I saw the note I thought something horrible must have happened.

“It’s tragic.”

Arnold, who describes the Knowles as exceptional neighbours, saw the couple regularly in the days leading up to the incident.

“They never socialised a lot at home, they never had visitors or parties.

“They didn’t holiday a lot but they had gone away for a night or two the week before this in Wales.

“Paul came here on Sunday evening because he hadn’t got a bandage and Gillian had turned her ankle.

“Then I spoke to her on Monday, she said just caught it on the edge of some rough stuff.

“On Tuesday afternoon I saw them sunbathing on the lawn in the back garden.

“They were sitting there until about fiveish side by side.

“I saw Paul take the lawnmower out and then take it back in at about 5.40pm, he must have changed his mind.”

Tributes from have been paid to Mrs Knowles, who went to St Columba’s RC Church, Plas Newton Lane, but hadn’t attended recently, by her family.

“Gillian was a wonderful, thoughtful, and caring mum who would always do anything for her children, family, and friends,” said a family statement. “It is so unfair that she has left us in this way with so much in life to look forward to.

“She had a brilliant smile, laugh, and love that will be sorely missed. She will be forever remembered, respected and loved.”

Paul Knowles’s daughter, Lucy, who had not been in contact with her father for some time, added: “I have recently reconnected with my dad and I am very shocked and upset by all that has happened.

“My thoughts and prayers are with Philly and Dan.”

The Knowleses used to rent a house at nearby Alwyn Gardens before buying their semi-detached Caughall Road home, which was once painted pink, about three years ago.

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