A decision over whether the inquest into the death of an elderly woman who died at the hands of her husband will go ahead amid a clash of opinions, is still yet to be made.

Barbara Heywood was stabbed to death by her husband, Arthur Heywood, on March 27, 2019, at their home on Ramsay Avenue, Farnworth

In December 2019, a jury at Manchester Crown Court found Heywood had killed his wife, but he could not stand trial due to a dementia diagnosis. 

The court heard Mrs Heywood, aged 80, had lived in fear of her "abusive husband" and had "repeatedly told nursing staff and social workers that she did not want him to return home" after he had been in hospital. 

Now, members of her family are calling for an inquest into her death, as they believe there are unanswered questions surrounding it. 

A pre-inquest review was held on February 27, where the family made submissions as to why the an inquest is needed, while other parties believe it is not. 

Barbara's daughter, Yvonne Silcock, her son-in-law, Colin Silcock and her granddaughter Emma Heywood are all in favour of the inquest being reopened. 

However, the council, Royal Bolton Hospital, Greater Manchester Mental Health (GMMH) and Barbara's on Michael Heywood are not in favour. 

Addressing the family counsel, Bethanie Mantin, Senior Coroner Timothy Brennand said: "As I understand it, what you want to articulate is it's all very well there being definitive and detailed reviews, but what it boils down to is there is still missing evidence." 

A domestic homicide review into Mrs Heywood's death was conducted by Be Safe Bolton, as well as the crown court proceedings. 

The review detailed the input of various services prior to the incident, including social services and social workers, and clinicians and mental health staff as to whether Mr Heywood should have gone in for a mental health assessment. 

Ms Mantin said: "There is a gap between what happened, what has thus far been explored, the wishes of the family and their understanding of how such a thing could have happened. 

"That gap between needs to be filled." 

She outlined that the family would like to hear further examination of the social workers involved with Mrs Heywood. 

Mr Brennand read out the opinion of Michael Heywood. 

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He said: "I am not of the same opinion, I do not feel opening up the case will serve any purpose. 

"The domestic homicide report found failings. However, it was Arthur Heywood who killed my mother, I do not think it is appropriate to look for others to blame for the killing." 

Legal representatives made submissions on behalf of the council, the Royal Bolton and GMMH, all of which had various involvement with Mrs Heywood. 

All three were not in favour of continuing the inquest. 

Valerie Travis, representing the Royal Bolton, said: "I am struggling to see where there is sufficient reason (to continue) in the explanation by the counsel on behalf of the family." 

Margaret Taylor, on behalf of GMMH, said she believed the questions posed by the family had been answered by the domestic homicide review. 

Elizabeth Dudley-Jones, on behalf of the council, suggested that giving the documents from the crown court proceedings to the family may satiate their questions. 

At the end of the hearing, the coroner decided that he needed to hear more information before deciding whether an inquest would be necessary. 

He said: "I am of the view that there is a very clear investigative duty which I can't say has been satisfied. 

"I need to see a comprehensive set of papers and psychiatric report. I would very much like to see the statements given to the domestic homicide review of the social workers in the case." 

He set a date for a further pre-inquest review on May 24 this year. 

Mr Brennand also set a provisional date for the full inquest for December 9, although stipulated that this was not an indication of how he will decide.