A crazed dad murdered his two sons then killed himself during a five-hour police siege, an inquest heard today.
The bodies of David Stokes, 43, and his two sons Adam, 11 and Matthew, five, were discovered dead at the family home in the early hours of November 2.
David’s wife Sally, 44, was held hostage but managed to escape with serious head injuries after an armed police stand-off in Hinckley, Leics.
Leicestershire Police said David, an electrician, died of a stab wound to the chest while Sally was rushed to hospital where she remains in a stable condition.
Senior coroner Trevor Kirkman opened an inquest into the deaths at Rutland and North Leicestershire coroner’s court in Lougborough today.
Detective Sergeant Kevin Burdett of Leicestershire Police’s Major Crimes Team told the court Mr Stokes’ body was identified by his brother James.
He said: “On November 4, Michael Foxon, the uncle of Adam, attended the Leicester
Royal Infirmary together with police officers and identified the body of Adam Stokes.”
Det Sgt Burdett said Matthew was also identified by Mr Foxon that day.
Mr Kirkman asked: “Are the police looking for anyone else as a result of these deaths?”
Det Sgt Burdett replied: “No sir. But the investigations are ongoing.”
Speaking about the deaths, he said:
“It was around 2.15am on November 2 of this year, officers gained entry to number 7 Welwyn Road, Hinckley.
“On entering, they discovered David was deceased in the front bedroom and the two children deceased in the house also.”
The results of a post mortem were “inconclusive” about the cause of deaths for Adam and Matthew.
Adjourning the inquest until February 9 next year, Mr Kirkman said:
“It is desirable that these should be concluded at the earliest opportunity.
“At this stage everyone will be aware of the tragic circumstances which have been reported widely in the media.
“It seems to me therefore the sooner it is possible – not least from the family’s point of view – we are able to conclude this inquest, the better.
“But plainly I don’t wish you to rush this process.”
Neighbours called police after hearing screams and shouting at 9.30pm on November 2.
Special negotiators and officers rushed to the scene and made contact with David and Sally who were barricaded inside the house.
During the long stand-off officers spent hours urging Stokes, 43, to free his family.
Sally managed to flee from the back of the three-bed semi at around 2.30am yesterday.
Police stormed the house in Hinckley, Leicestershire, and found Mr Stokes dead along with his sons Adam, 11, and five-year-old Matthew.
Sally recently changed her status on Facebook to “separated”.
The couple had continued living together “for the sake of the boys”, despite splitting up several months ago, said neighbours.
But it is believed Sally recently asked Stokes, who is a keen cyclist, to move out.
Family friend Teresa Reid, 89, said:
“They appeared to just be a very close happy family.
“But I guess you never know what has gone on behind closed doors. I can’t believe what has happened. It’s so very very sad.”
The two boys attended St Mary’s CE Primary School, with head teacher Rachel Ayres saying:
“Everyone at St Mary’s is devastated by the tragic news about our pupils, Adam and Matthew, and our sincere sympathies are with their family and friends.
“This is an extremely difficult time for our pupils, staff and parents and our priority is supporting them.
Special assemblies are being held tomorrow to support the children.
“Prayers will be said and we will have staff and counsellors available to speak to the children to ensure we’re providing as much help as we can during this traumatic time.”
Photographs on Stokes’s Facebook page appear to show the family on a holiday together as recently as this summer.
Polly Britten, 45, who lives nearby, said:
“To sacrifice those poor innocent children like that, is just something you don’t do, no matter what is going on.
“They are completely blameless, yet they are dead.”
Sally’s father Stephen Foxon, 68, said:
“We don’t want to say anything at the moment. It’s too raw and upsetting.”
Resident Wendy Aubrey said: “They woke me up at 2.30am. I was in bed.
“My neighbour could see a woman standing in the street. She phoned the police. I was woken up by screaming.
“All the cars came down, there were loads of them. I was kept awake by all the doors banging.
“I’ve been here 30 years, there’s always something going on in Hinckley, but you don’t expect it round here.”
Neighbour Mitch Bennett, 45, said:
“There were at least five police cars and an unmarked van, and lots of officers milling around.
Some looked like they were in riot gear. He seemed a normal guy.
“I hadn’t seen her or the children in a while. This is nice, neighbourly area.”
Police confirmed they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths and they referred the case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Credits: The SUN UK
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