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Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Killer George Treeby refuses to attend Maidstone inquest into dad Bill Treeby's hanging death after murder conviction

26 February 2014
by Kent Messenger reporter
Convicted murderer George Treeby has refused to give evidence at the inquest into his father's death while in prison.
 
George - who was found guilty of killing his uncle Jack Treeby with his father Bill and brother Billy - had been due to give evidence in person at the hearing at County Hall, Maidstone.
 
But Mid Kent and Medway assistant coroner Gail Elliman reluctantly agreed to read his statement.
George Treeby was jailed for life for murdering his uncle Jack

George Treeby was jailed for life for murdering his uncle Jack

He was one of the Treeby family members convicted in December 2010 after a family feud that erupted into violence in Quarry Road, Maidstone, a year before.
 
Bill Treeby had been found hanged in his cell, which he shared with his son George, at HMP Elmley on the Isle of Sheppey, two days after they had been handed down the guilty verdicts at Maidstone Crown Court.
 
In his statement, George said: "My father had truly believed that he would be found not guilty."
 
"My father was upset and tearful... I heard my father crying in the middle of the night. I had never heard him cry before..." - killer George Treeby
He said of their return to prison after the verdicts on Friday, December 10, his father had seen a mental health nurse at reception for a few minutes before it was his turn. 
 
"When I saw the reception nurse I was asked how I was feeling," he wrote. "I said I was OK - I didn't want to talk.
 
"My father was upset and tearful... I heard my father crying in the middle of the night. I had never heard him cry before.
 
"He couldn't cope with doing 30 years in prison; his GP had given him 10 years left."
 
On Sunday, December 12 he was going to see his fiancé Kelly and looked through the cell observation flap to see his father sitting on the bed in the dark, holding a sheet that he said he was going to make a washing line with.
 
"I told him he could use mine because I'd finished with it," he said. "This was the last time I saw him alive.
 
He added: "My father was always the strong one in the family. We would never discuss how we were feeling with one another."
Bill Treeby was discovered hanged in his cell at HMP Elmley

Bill Treeby was discovered hanged in his cell at HMP Elmley

His now wife, Kelly, told the court the visit to see George, the day after their conviction, on Saturday, December 11, had been very emotional.
 
At the end, she said: "I went to say goodbye to Bill. He picked my son up and he put him on his lap. He said 'give your grandad a big kiss and cuddle because it is the last time you're going to see him.' I didn't know what to think.
 
"I think Bill didn't think he was going to live to see the end of his sentence. I didn't know if it was because of his health or what. His house was burnt down; he lost everything. He didn't have much to live for really."

Related story

Widow's last moments with killer before hanging


At the same visit, Mr Treeby's niece's husband, Phil Herron, said he had spoken to a prison guard in the visitors' hall, saying Mr Treeby was distraught about the guilty verdict.
 
He said he told how he was feeling suicidal and was told the concerns would be passed on.
 
But prison officer Julian Clifford said he had been told he was stopping taking his medication, not that he was suicidal. He had passed that concern on to staff on Mr Treeby's wing.
 
The inquest also heard it was prison policy to consider all inmates who had been convicted of murder, especially of a family member, at serious risk of suicide.
Elmley Prison on the Isle of Sheppey

Elmley Prison on the Isle of Sheppey

 
In Mr Herron's wife Tracey's statement about their two-hour visit, she said: "The visit was very different. It was overwhelming for me. He broke down crying and didn't stop. I'd never seen Bill so emotional."
 
He had talked about funeral arrangements, but she said: "I could tell that Bill wasn't his normal self. I was very concerned about him."
 
She said her husband had spoken to a prison officer. "By the end of the visit I was certain he was going to do something."
 
He called her three of four times the next day, asking about the family. Of the last one, she said: "He wanted to make sure everyone was alright. I have come to believe that the telephone conversation was Bill's way of saying goodbye although that wasn't my impression at the time."
 
Mr Treeby was found dead in his cell that day at just after 3pm, when the 188 cells on the wing were being unlocked.
 
It took two officers to force the door open because it was barricaded with a table. 
Murder victim Jack Treeby pictured at his wedding

Murder victim Jack Treeby pictured at his wedding

Billy Treeby was jailed for life for murdering his uncle Jack

Billy Treeby was jailed for life for murdering his uncle Jack

Charity Treeby was jailed for eight years

Charity Treeby was jailed for eight years

Brothers Billy Treeby, then 30, and George Treeby, then 23, were jailed for life at Maidstone Crown Court for murdering their uncle Jack Treeby, from Rainham. 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, in which a jury is sitting, continues.


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