Inquest into death of Janet Gilson, from Leigh, says she was unlawfully killed (From Southend Standard)
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Inquest into death of Janet Gilson, from Leigh, says she was unlawfully killed
6:34pm Tuesday 15th October 2013 in Echo News
THE BODY of a retired Salvation Army officer was found hidden inside a sofa after family had noticed drops of her blood on the floor, an inquest has revealed.
Major Janet Gilson, 64, of Bellhouse Lane, Leigh, was brutally murdered just days after arriving in Hong Kong where she had travelled to visit family.
In June this year Ahmed Fareed was sentenced to life imprisonment for strangling Ms Gilson to death.
Today, coroner Yvonne Blake reopened the inquest into the gruesome death.
Chelmsford Coroner's Court heard how Ms Gilson had arrived in Hong Kong on March 5, 2011, for a holiday but was reported missing by her family just ten days later.
It was only on March 19 that they noticed blood which eventually led to the gruesome discovery of her body.
Coroner's officer, Laura Howarde , told the inquest: “Family noticed drops of blood on the floor and called police who found Ms Gilson's body hidden under a sofa.
“The bottom of the sofa had been cut out to allow space for the body.”
A post-mortem confirmed Ms Gilson had died of suffocation and strangulation but coroner Ms Blake refused to go into further details of the report as it was “too distressing” for friends who had attended the inquest to hear Assistant Coroner Ms Blake recorded a verdict of unlawful killing.
She added: “I understand Janet Gilson was a Salvation Army worker who did a lot of good work.
“It is very tragic her life was taken in this way.”
A handprint at the scene led police to Ahmed Fareed, the ex-husband of Ms Gilson's niece Julia.
Ms Gilson set up one of Russia's first ever Salvation Army churches after travelling alone to the outskirts of Moscow and learning the language in the early 90s.
Throughout her 40-year career with the Salvation Army she also worked with teenagers in England and Ireland.
She had retired shortly before leaving for Hong Kong in 2011.
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