Jehovah’s Witnesses criticised for failing to stop devout follower’s plan to stab wife 49 times

    Coroner blasts Jehovah’s Witnesses for failing to stop 82-year-old man killing his wife, 80, after he told church elder that he was planning to stab her to death

    • Ronald Mowbray, 82, from Warwickshire, stabbed his wife 49 times last February
    • Pensioner had previously told a church elder that he planned to knife Ann, 80
    • An official investigation into the devout religious couple was launched last year
    • Warwickshire County Coroner slammed lack of action from Jehovah’s Witnesses

    A coroner has slammed the lack of action from Jehovah’s Witnesses who did not stop a devout followers’ frenzied attack on his wife. 

    Ronald Mowbray, 82, from Studley, Warwickshire, stabbed his wife Ann a total of 49 times as she slept in bed.

    A devout Jehovah’s Witness, Mowbray was arrested at the couple’s village home following the attack last February. 

    But to the shock of the county’s coroner, Sean McGovern, it was revealed that the pensioner had earlier informed a senior church member of his murderous plan.

    And Mr McGovern warned that similar stabbings could happen in the future if lessons were not learned from this incident.  

    Ann Mowbray (pictured) was 80-years-old when she was stabbed 49 times while she slept by her husband, Roland last year

    An inquest into his wife’s death heard Mowbray had told an elder at the church of Jehovah’s Witnesses about his plan to murder Ann, but no action was taken.

    He was arrested after he stabbed his wife almost 50 times while she was asleep in the couple’s bed on February 17, 2020. 

    Mr Mowbray was due to face trial after being charged with the murder of his wife, but died last April as his health deteriorated in HMP Hewell.

    Speaking last year, Mr Mowbray’s barrister Rebecca Wade explained his mental health had ‘rapidly declined’ and he was spending much of his time in the prison’s hospital wing. 

    Sean McGovern, coroner for Warwickshire, declared Mrs Mowbray had been unlawfully killed.

    In his ruling, he said: ‘Mrs Mowbray was unlawfully killed, she was stabbed 49 times as she was sleeping in her own home. 

    ‘She was 80 years old and vulnerable by means of physical disabilities and she was a devout Jehovah’s Witness, as was the perpetrator.

    ‘The perpetrator made at least one comment to an elder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses indicating that he proposed to kill Mrs Mowbray by stabbing her.’

    Mr Mowbray had previously warned Jehovah's Witness church elder that he would kill his wife at the couple's home in Allendale Crescent, Studley (above)

    Mr Mowbray had previously warned Jehovah’s Witness church elder that he would kill his wife at the couple’s home in Allendale Crescent, Studley (above)

    The inquest heard the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘do not have any policy regarding safeguarding vulnerable adults’.

    Mr McGovern said there was a ‘risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken’.

    He said despite raising concerns with the church, where both Mr and Mrs Mowbray were members, it was ‘unclear whether they propose to adopt such a policy’.


    1. I wonder how it is possible to apply a safeguarding policy in someone else’s home, since the elders have no legal authority.

      One newspaper states that the perpetrator of this crime had dementia.Since he was placed in prison prior to his trial it seems the authorities didn’t know what to to do with him.
      Another newspaper states that Jehovah’s witnesses have until 21st June to reply to the Coroner.

      I am one of Jehovah’s witnesses, although I have no particular knowledge of the people in this case

    2. Seriously what is up with this religion, it fails to report child sexual abuse on a massive scale worldwide, and now their clergy class won’t even report a potential murder, my god how can this be a Christian faith? That Elder has her blood on his hands, utterly despicable not to report this, she would still be alive, so avoidable this outcome.


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