Inquest Into New Forest Family's Deaths

6 April 2011, 09:14 | Updated: 6 April 2011, 12:47

Inquests will resume today (6th April) into the deaths of a family of four from Hampshire- including two young girls - found dead at their home.

A man believed to have murdered his wife while she slept and smothered their two daughters before killing himself may have been taking an anti-smoking medication with possible side effects of "anger" and "depression", an inquest heard today (April 6th).

The bodies of delivery driver Andrew Case, 33, his wife of 10 years Vicki, 31, and their two little girls Nereya, 18 months, and Phoebe, two, were found at their home in Fordingbridge, Hampshire, on Monday July 26 last year.

The inquest in Southampton heard that Mrs Case was found lying on her back on the living room floor with the two girls on either side of her.

She appeared to be embracing the two girls, who have been described by family members as "little angels".

A blanket had been placed over them.

Mrs Case had died of "catastrophic" bleeding caused by two large knife wounds to her neck and chest and the two girls had probably been smothered, the inquest heard.

Post-mortem examinations showed Mrs Case, who ran a nursery for 20 under-fives at St Aldhelm's Church in nearby Sandleheath, died from multiple stabs wounds.

The bodies of the two girls showed no signs of trauma, police said at the time.

Mr Case was found hanging on the staircase of the semi-detached house, which was neat with no signs of disturbance.

Their bodies were found by Mrs Case's mother Linda Haskell, 57, who went around to the house when she had not been able to contact the family since the Saturday.

Mrs Haskell ran from the scene shouting "They're all dead - my babies are dead", alerting neighbours who contacted police.

The inquest heard that Mr Case had been prescribed the anti-smoking drug Champix because he had been trying to give up for some time.

The inquest heard that the family had just returned from a week-long holiday to Weymouth, Dorset, but it was reported at the time that the family was suffering financial difficulties.

It's also thought Mrs Case would not allow her husband to smoke around her or in their home.

The hearing was told that on July 10, Mr Case had been prescribed 28 Champix tablets to be taken twice a day.

He was then dispensed a further 56 tablets by a chemist on July 23, the day they returned from holiday.

The inquest heard that the original prescription packet was found empty in the house and only 28 of the extra tablets were found.