05/12/2011 10:44 GMT | Updated 05/12/2011 10:44 GMT

Kate Prout Murder: Police Can't Establish How Wife Was Killed

A pathologist has been unable to establish how a woman murdered by her husband and then buried in woodland on the farm they shared died, an inquest heard.

The inquest into the death of Kate Prout, 55, was opened and adjourned at Gloucestershire Coroner's Court.

Adrian Prout, 49, of Redmarley, Gloucestershire, was convicted of his wife's murder in February last year despite her body never having been found.

But following a dramatic prison confession, a body was found in Cobhill Woods on Prout's farm on November 24.

The remains were taken to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital and on November 25 they were identified from dental records as belonging to Mrs Prout.

The court heard that a post-mortem examination has been carried out, but further tests are due to be carried out by pathologists, including on part of Mrs Prout's larynx.

Coroner's officer Terry Onions said: "The cause of death is unascertained, but initial results do not negate Mr Prout's account of her death (to police)."

Coroner David Dooley said he would release Mrs Prout's body in 28 days for burial or cremation, allowing time for any parties involved in the case to request a second post-mortem examination.

He added if that if there were not such requests the body would be released earlier.

The coroner's office was contacted by police after Prout admitted the murder to his fiancee, Debbie Garlick, and took detectives to the location where he buried her.

Police used specialist forensic experts and dogs trained to locate decomposed bodies in the search for the former teacher.