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Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Widow Charity Treeby weeps at inquest into death of murderer Bill Treeby in cell at HMP Elmley on Sheppey after Maidstone family feud

25 February 2014
by Kent Messenger reporter

A widow has told of the emotional last moment she saw her husband alive before he was found hanged in his cell while awaiting sentence for murdering his brother.

Charity Treeby cried as she told an inquest into Bill's death how the pair and their two sons wept together as they were all convicted over a family feud that led to a double shooting.

Bill was found hanged in his cell at HMP Elmley, on the Isle of Sheppey, two days after the verdicts were delivered in one of Kent's most notorious murder cases on December 10, 2010.

Bill Treeby was discovered hanged in his cell at HMP Elmley

Bill Treeby was discovered hanged in his cell at HMP Elmley

He had been found guilty - along with his two sons, Billy and George - of murdering his Rainham brother Jack, but they had not been sentenced.

Mrs Treeby had also been convicted of GBH with intent after the family feud spilled into violence in Quarry Road, Maidstone in December 2009.

Fighting back tears, an emotional Mrs Treeby told the jury hearing into his death yesterday: "When we were going into the cell room, I looked up at him.

"He was crying. I'd never seen him like that before. He just got up and he cuddled me and he kissed me on the side of the face.

"We were all clinging to each other, trying to help each other. He said to me 'look after yourself'.

"He said 'look after baby George for me'. Those were the last words he ever said to me."

Charity Treeby was jailed for eight years

Charity Treeby was jailed for eight years

During the three-month trial into the killing of Jack Treeby in an attack that also saw his brother Gary Treeby shot in the leg and beaten, the couple had been kept on remand in different prisons and had not been able to speak to each other.

Mrs Treeby said as she was being led away to go back to Bronzefield Prison, in Ashford, she said: "I said to the guards, 'please can I see him before I go?'. But they put the handcuffs on. We had no time to talk."

Of her husband's state of mind, she said: "He always said that he was going to get off. None of us thought we were going to get convicted.

"It was a family thing that never should have happened. He never thought he was going to be convicted of it."

The inquest at County Hall, Maidstone, also heard Mr Treeby had been a polite prisoner who was a pleasure to deal with.

Elmley Prison on the Isle of Sheppey

Elmley Prison on the Isle of Sheppey

Prison officer Michelle Gebbi, who worked in reception, said she had seen him almost every day during the trial.

"He was a pleasure to see," she said. "Every morning, he'd be like 'good morning miss, alright guv'."

She said she saw him the evening after his conviction as he spoke to kitchen orderlies.

His mood seemed "slightly changed", she said, but nothing that caused her concern.

In a statement, mental health nurse Muriaz Hove said he also had no concerns when he assessed Mr Treeby.

He added: "He had more concerns about his son George Treeby than he did about himself. He was adamant that he wanted his son to be moved."

The pair were sharing a cell.

Murder victim Jack Treeby pictured at his wedding

Murder victim Jack Treeby pictured at his wedding

A post mortem found Mr Treeby had taken a potentially fatal overdose of an anti-depressant and an anti-psychotic drug, neither of which were prescribed.

But pathologist Dr David Rouse said they had not contributed to his death as he had died of suspension before they had begun to work.

A "code blue" emergency call had gone out to trained first aid staff at 3.07pm after he was seen suspended in his cell.

However, it took a few seconds for guards to break down the door, which was barricaded from the inside, the inquest heard.

Resuscitation attempts, including the use of a defibrillator, were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at 3.47pm.

Billy Treeby was jailed for life for murdering his uncle Jack

Billy Treeby was jailed for life for murdering his uncle Jack

George Treeby was jailed for life for murdering his uncle Jack

George Treeby was jailed for life for murdering his uncle Jack

Brothers Billy Treeby, then 30, and George Treeby, then 23, were jailed for life at Maidstone Crown Court for murdering their uncle Jack Treeby. They were ordered to serve a minimum of 23 years behind bars.

The pair were also sentenced to 14 years each for the attempted murder of their uncle Gary.

Their mother Charity, then 51, was jailed for eight years after being found guilty of GBH with intent.

The inquest continues.

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