A possessive boyfriend stabbed his ex-lover to death in a car on the side of the road before turning the vehicle into "a flaming inferno", an inquest heard yesterday.

Andrew Brown, 33, died moments after he stabbed Gemma Newman, 21, in a frenzied attack in Coventry, West Midlands, just a day after she returned her engagement ring to him.

An inquest held at Coventry Magistrates Court heard the couple had split the day before but Brown turned up at Miss Newman's home, in Bedworth, the following morning.

She waved goodbye to her father on November 16 and within five minutes she had been stabbed seven times, with each one of the wounds being fatal, the inquest heard.

Miss Newman was working as a trainee chartered accountant in Birmingham after gaining a first class degree at De Montfort University in Leicester.

She was found in her burnt-out Ford Escort near the M6 at Longford, with multiple stab wounds and burns so severe police had to use dental records to identify her.

Mr Brown, from Wolverhampton, was found lying dead in the gutter next to the car and died as a result of the fire.

A post-mortem examination revealed she died from the stab wounds before the fire was started.

Coventry Coroner David Sarginson recorded a verdict of unlawful killing of Miss Newman and an open verdict for the death of Mr Brown.

Sergeant Steven Francis, from West Midlands Police, said Mr Brown was seen driving his silver Audi A3 diesel car to and from Bedworth on November 15, 2005, the day before they died.

He was also seen on two occasions buying petrol and a petrol can.

He made repeated phone calls to Miss Newman's home, asking her family to get Miss Newman to take him back.

At 7.30am on November 16, he made a surprise visit to their home and met Miss Newman at her car.

Almost 20 minutes later, motorists reported seeing the couple arguing in the car parked on the side of Wilsons Lane before it was engulfed in flames.

Martin Hyatt, from West Midlands Fire Service, said a petrol can had been placed in the footwell of both the passenger and driver's seats of the car and petrol poured into the vehicle.

"The petrol would have turned the whole vehicle into a flaming inferno.

"I think he (Mr Brown) may have tried to get out of the vehicle and managed to open the door but was so overcome with his injuries he did not get very far,O he said.

The hearing was told by Miss Newman's father, David, how Gemma wanted to get out of the relationship, which started after the pair met while working in Tesco in Bedworth, because Mr Brown was very possessive.

Mr Sarginson said Mr Brown had left a letter to his parents, instructing them how to deal with his affairs.

He said: "Their relationship effectively terminated on November 15 when Gemma gave Andrew the engagement ring back.

"He must have been in a terrible emotional state.

"The letter might be construed as a suicide note but I think it could equally be his expression that he was going to go to prison for a long time.

"He was a man in a jealous rage and for that reason I record an open verdict," he said.

Miss Newman's family, who all wore pink to the hearing in her memory, wept as details of her death were read out.

After the hearing, her sister, Kelly, paid tribute to her: "We have always been a close family. She was one in a million.

"She had a very bright future and was a loving sister, daughter and aunt.

"Nothing can bring her back but we feel justice has been done.

"She loved young children and we have set up the Gemma Louise Newman Memorial Fund to help the schools she attended."

Ronald Malcolm, a relative of Mr Brown, said: "We as a family would want to offer our apologies and condolences to Gemma's family for what has happened."