A father-of-two born in St Helens strangled his wife then hanged himself days before she was due to move out of the family home, an inquest heard.
Mark Langtree, who was struggling to come to terms with his failing marriage, was being treated for depression.
We are truly sorry. I know it’s an awful thing what happened but deep down he was a good manJohn Langtree, Mark’s dad
A Bolton inquest into the couple’s deaths heard the 38-year-old businessman, who was born and raised in Prescot, had attempted suicide months before.
And a police investigation found he had searched “murder-suicide” on the internet hours before the tragic events in November last year.
Assistant coroner Rachel Griffin heard the relationship between Mr Langtree and his wife Nicola, who had been married for 11 years with two children, had deteriorated throughout the year.
They had remained in the family home in Wigan for the sake of their two children – Mia, 11 and Freya, eight – but were sleeping in separate bedrooms.
The court heard Mr Langtree believed his wife was having an affair and had started “stalking” her by hanging around outside her place of work and checking her phone and e-mails for messages.
In July, Mrs Langtree found her husband in the garage of their home having apparently attempted to take his own life.
His father, John Langtree, described this incident as a “cry for help”. And Mark admitted he had consumed a quantity of pills and alcohol.
Mr Langtree senior had earlier apologised for his son’s actions. He had said: “We are truly sorry. I know it’s an awful thing what happened but deep down he was a good man.”
In the weeks before their death, medical experts said Mr Langtree had accepted what had happened in July and was referring to it as “reaching rock bottom”.
But he had told of a fresh focus in life and following a family holiday had harboured hopes of keeping his marriage alive.
However, Mrs Langtree had started divorce proceedings and her husband had been issued with a solicitor’s letter, the court heard.
On November 12 the children were with Mr Langtree’s parents and at about 7pm had chatted on the phone with Mr and Mrs Langtree.
Mr Byrne said on the same day his daughter had told him she would be talking to her husband later to discuss details of their “quickie divorce”.
The next morning, having not heard from his son, Mr Langtree called at the house after dropping the children off at school. He found his son and police officers later found Mrs Langtree in an upstairs bedroom.
Post-mortem examination revealed Mrs Langtree had injuries to her face and upper body and had died from strangulation with a ligature.
Mr Langtree had bruises on his hand consistent with having struck another individual.
Ms Griffin recorded verdicts of unlawful killing for Mrs Langtree and hanging for Mr Langtree.