A daughter said her “worst nightmare came true” after her mother was killed by her psychotic husband before he set their home alight.
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 how Mr Siokos was “delusional” and was convinced his wife, her late brother and her daughter had devised a plot to kill him.
The couple had separated but still lived in the same house, which had been converted into two flats.
Mrs Siokos's best friend Maurieen Kelly told the court how Mr Siokos had been verbally and physically abusive towards his wife.
She added: “She showed me bruises on her body from him.
“I wanted to go the police but she begged me not to go. She was a very proud lady and she didn’t want everyone knowing her business.
“I said, if he touches you one more time I am going to the police so she hid them from me after that. She was very depressed about her situation. I wanted him gone.”
A neighbour had once told Ms Kelly she had seen Mr Siokos physically “throw” his wife across the garden.
Ms Kelly added that every time she visited Mrs Siokos, Mr Siokos would eavesdrop outside the door.
She added: “I couldn’t believe he had this theory someone was trying to kill him. We used to joke about it and ask, where would we find the people to do that?”
Mr Siokos had recently been diagnosed with hip cancer and in the days leading up to the deaths, he purchased numerous petrol cannisters.
Mrs Siokos, a retired seamstress, had been due to visit the hospital with her former husband – something which according to friends and family, she had not wanted to do.
Despite his mental state, doctors failed to pick up on his apparent psychosis.
On the morning of the deaths in January 2013, Mr Siokos was discovered was discovered beneath a loft hatch, suggesting he had tried to hang himself after setting the house alight. Coroner Andrew Walker recorded a verdict of suicide for Mr Siokos and unlawful killing for Mrs Siokos.
After the conclusion, daughter Annabella Bell, a psychologist, said she was aware of Mr Siokos’s psychotic state and had planned to give him the help he needed to recover.
She described her mother as “kind, loving and caring”.
She added: “They had been married for 30 years and even then I knew he wasn’t a well person. I was scared this was going to happen. My worst nightmare came true.
“It’s terrible when you dread something for so long and then it happens.
“Part of me is a daughter who detests him. Part of me is a mental health professional who doesn’t pass judgement. And another part of me is a stepdaughter. It’s very hard.
“I understand why he did it, but I don’t forgive him. How can I? He killed my mum. She was my best friend.”