Richard Davies
Richard Davies with his wife Samantha before his death in 2015.Remembering Richard Davies / Facebook

A man armed with a homemade gun was shot dead by police after tying up two of his children and threatening to commit suicide after finding out his marriage was over, an inquest heard.

Richard Davies fired six shots at officers outside his home in St Neots, Cambridgeshire, on October 21 2015, after the breakdown of his marriage to wife, Samantha.

The 41-year-old, who was also carrying a knife, died of a single gunshot wound to the chest fired by an officer, a hearing taking place at Peterborough Town Hall was told on Wednesday (5 July).

The Mirror reported that a jury was told that the father-of-three was pronounced dead at the family home.

The hearing, in front of assistant coroner for Cambridgeshire Nicholas Moss, was informed that Davies had been drinking throughout the day and was preparing to move out in the upcoming weekend.

The hearing was told that Davies had been signed off work following difficulty with a work colleague and had been prescribed anti-depressants.

On the day of his death, he had travelled to a local shop at least four times to buy cans of beer and showed a man a homemade gun and a box of bullets, jurors were told.

After sending two of his children to the shop to buy wrapping paper and string he tied up a third child, putting duct tape over his mouth and locking him in a bedroom.

Moss said that when the two children returned, Davies went to a second child and: "brandished a kitchen knife" and was saying that he "wanted to end his life".

Moss continued: "Mr Davies threatened to kill the children if they did not do what they were told, so Child A decided to allow Mr Davies to tie him up".

The children made covert calls to 999 and their mother before escaping from upstairs windows before firearms officers from Cambridgeshire Police attended.

Davies was assessed as being emotionally or mentally distressed and fired a total of six shots from the house, the inquest heard.

Moss said Davies screamed at officers "f****** shoot me then you c****"', to which an officer replied: "We don't want to do that to anybody, Richard".

Jurors will need to assess whether other options could have been adopted by police including whether officers should have withdrawn or if Samantha Davies could have been used to negotiate with her husband.

The jury inquest continues.