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Husband set himself alight after knifing nurse in neck

Poignant: James
and Amy Barnes
PIC: CATERS

THE family of nurse Amy Barnes were last night coming to terms with the brutal murder of their ‘angel’ at the hands of her husband James.

Mr Barnes, 30, stabbed the 32-year-old in the neck at their home after posting a happy wedding day photo on Facebook. Police believe he then killed himself in a fireball on the same night.

His body was discovered in the garden of his parents’ bungalow at Streetly, in the West Midlands, at around midnight on Monday. His wife of three years was found dead 20 miles away at the couple’s home in Rednal, Birmingham, 40 minutes later.

‘Strong and confident’: Neonatal nurse Amy PIC: PA WIRE

Police have revealed Mrs Barnes died from a single stab wound while they say her graphic designer and fitness fanatic husband set himself on fire.

Her mother Val Shimell, 68, paid tribute to her daughter, describing her as a ‘precious gift’.

In a statement issued through West Midlands Police, Mrs Shimell said: ‘Amy was a fantastic, funny, beautiful and caring girl.

‘She was known as my precious gift, my first born and the best big sister to her two younger sisters Lucy and Emily. Her loss has left a huge hole in not only mine and her father Jez’s heart but to all those that loved Amy which will never be filled.

‘We are all so, so proud of her. The truth is Amy was a precious gift to so many people, who smiled with her eyes. ‘Amy took such pride in her work as a neonatal nursery nurse and was extremely passionate in her role helping countless new mothers with their newborn babies.

‘In the last few months of her life Amy had grown into a strong confident woman. The loss has devastated our close family.

Crime scene: Officers remove Amy’s body from her Rednal home PIC: CATERS

‘She was loved so much not only by her family, but so many of her friends. Shine bright my angel.’

Det Insp Caroline Corfield said: ‘This is a terribly sad case which has left two families grieving for a loved one, trying to come to terms with the circumstances of their death.

‘The death of Amy is being investigated as a murder and it is believed that following her murder, her husband James later took his own life.’