A “delusional” husband who murdered his wife before setting their home alight was convinced his family had devised a plot to kill him, an inquest heard today.
The bodies of Argyios Siokos, 69, and wife Chloe Siokos, 80, were discovered after firefighters were called to tackle a blaze in Fallow Court Avenue, Finchley, in January 2013.
North London Coroners Court heard today the couple still lived together despite separating in 2009, and Mr Siokos may have been displaying abusive behaviour towards his wife.
In the days leading up to the deaths, Mr Siokos visited the hospital with hip pain and was sent for an X-Ray, which showed he had cancer.
Mrs Siokos was due to accompany her husband at the doctor on the morning of the fire.
Neighbours phoned the fire brigade after seeing a “glowing light” from the window, and Mrs Siokos’s body was discovered in the kitchen with a stab wound to her neck as well as other injuries.
Mr Siokos was discovered beneath a loft hatch, suggesting he had tried to hang himself after setting the house alight.
Detective Chief Inspector Michael Harvey of Barnet Police said CCTV footage as well as receipts showed Mr Siokos had purchased a number of petrol canisters in the days leading up to the deaths.
Officers found a note asking them to look in the car – which included a number of “rambling” letters including a will and photographs.
One said there was a “plot for his demise by assassination” by his wife and her daughter, Annabella Bell.
DCI Harvey said: ”Undoubtedly, severe force had been applied to Chloe – possibly with a hammer.
“He had cancer of the hip and believed it had spread to his lungs, and that the doctor would discover it and kill him.
“He killed himself before going to hospital as an act of spite.”
Mrs Siokos's doctor, Philomena Dardis, of the Speedwell Practice, said she last spoke to Mr Siokos in January and there was no indication he was suffering from any mental health issue.
She said Mrs Siokos, a seamstress, displayed regular bruising over the years but did not attribute this to domestic violence.
In one case, she told four different professionals a black eye appeared “spontaneously” after waking up one morning.
Her daughter, Annabella Bell, had discussed concerns about her mother’s husband with Dr Dardis – who then invited her to the practice for an appointment.
Dr Dardis said: “She told me he was an evil man as he drank heavily and went with other women.
“She said he was displaying delusional and illogical behaviour.
“In January 2011, I asked if he had been physically abusive and she said not for a year since he drank heavily, not since he hit her on the shoulder.”
The inquest continues.