Father who murdered his family 'was quitting smoking and on medication that caused depression'
Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 2:52 PM on 6th April 2011
A father suspected of murdering his wife while she slept and smothering their two daughters before killing himself may have been taking an anti-smoking medication with possible side effects of 'anger' and 'depression', an inquest has heard.
The bodies of delivery driver Andrew Case, 33, his wife of 10 years Vicki, 31, and their daughters Nereya, 18 months, and Phoebe, two, were found at their home in Fordingbridge on 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.
Horror: Andrew Case, who is suspected of murdering Phoebe, centre, youngster sister Nereya and his wife, had been trying to quit smoking at the time of their deaths
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.
Mr Case was found hanging on the staircase of the semi-detached house, which was neat with no signs of disturbance.
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, and 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 Champix tablets to be taken twice a day.
He was then dispensed a further number of the tablets by a chemist on July 23, the day they returned from holiday.
Nereya (left) and Phoebe are believed to have been smothered to death at their home in Hampshire. They were found lying next to their mother as if she embraced her
The post-mortem examination on Mrs Case showed she died from blood loss caused by two wounds to her neck and chest caused by a knife at least 7in long. She ran a nursery for under-fives in a nearby church
The inquest heard that the original prescription packet was found empty in the house and only half of the extra tablets were found.
Home Office pathologist Dr Basil Purdue said that a post-mortem examination did not reveal any traces of the Champix drug in Mr Case's blood.
He said that 50 per cent of the drug leaves the system each day meaning that Mr Case probably would not have taken the drug for 'probably several days' before his death.
Dr Purdue said that Mr Case died of hanging.
He said that the post-mortem examination on Mrs Case showed she died from blood loss caused by two wounds to her neck and chest caused by a knife at least 7in long.
Dr Purdue said that Phoebe was probably smothered but there was no obvious cause of death for Nereya although he suggested that she had probably been smothered as well.
He said there were no signs that their bodies had been moved after death.
Coroner Keith Wiseman said that the evidence suggested that Mr Case killed his wife and daughters on the Saturday night and killed himself on the Sunday evening.
He recorded verdicts of unlawful killing for the two girls and Mrs Case, who ran a nursery for under-fives at a nearby church and of suicide for Mr Case.
Grim discovery: The Case family home in Fordingbridge, Hampshire where the four bodies were found by Mrs Case's mother
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I hope he rots in hell. I'm also fed up with these lame excuses for sick people killing their families. - Paula, Lisbon, 6/4/2011 13:33 Paula, I don't think anyone is saying what he did is mitigated by him being on a no smoking drug. But it is surely important to note that people who commit multiple murders are in many cases taking powerful drugs brought to you by powerful drugs companies. Or would you rather these drugs be scattered around like candy, impacting on peoples lives in ways that the drugs companies won't mention nor list as a contarindication.
- Craig, Leeds, UK, 06/4/2011 16:03
I took Champix for 2 weeks and was lucky to experience only mild side effects such as vivid dreams and headaches, however my friend took them and turned into a completely different person; my other friends said he was a nightmare! I have now been smoke-free for 4 weeks after smoking 10-20 a day for 7 years. It seems to have different effects on different people, but I highly doubt that I could've quit smoking without it
- Lou, UK, 06/4/2011 16:01
I thought I had read somewhere that this couple had pressing money problems, if so, perhaps a state of desparation plus the side effects of Champix combined to influence the tragedy; not that it is anyway excusable for the husband to do this terrible act.
- David James, Everdon, United Kingdom, 06/4/2011 15:59
Both my other half & I have taken Champix & apart from being sick suffered no other side effects........ just to add we both quit smoking on these tablets & that was 3 years ago
- honeybunny, Cheshire, 06/4/2011 15:58
Breaks my heart when children are killed by parents or indeed anyone...kill your selves...leave the children alone for gods sake... Rest in peace together Nereya, Phoebe and Mrs Case x.x.x. Andrew Case rot in hell you evil despicable entity.
- kat, uk, 06/4/2011 15:58
On the 18th Jan this year I attempted to give up smoking by the usual way of patches, however I began to itch and they left huge red marks, found out I was allergic to them. The nurse suggested I try Champix and I said I wasn't sure. I told a friend who told me to stay away from them as a friend of hers tried them and felt suicidal. Now reading this I am so grateful I did.
- law-abiding citizen, UK not EU, 06/4/2011 15:57
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