Family deaths father had faced bankruptcy

A British father believed to have slit the throats of his wife and two young daughters before hanging himself had faced bankruptcy, it emerged.

Detectives investigating the tragedy confirmed they are not seeking anyone else in connection with the deaths of the family, who they named as Andrew Case, 33, his wife Vicky, 31, and their two children Phoebe, two and Nereya, one.

Their bodies were discovered at their home in Fordingbridge, Hampshire, by the children’s grandmother on Monday morning.

HGV driver Mr Case, who was believed to have been found hanging on the landing, had filed a formal alternative to bankruptcy known as an Individual Voluntary Assessment, The Times newspaper reported.

It said the status of his case on the Individual Insolvency Register was marked as “current” while the address was given as his former home in a rural part of the New Forest.

After filing it with Salisbury County Court in 2006 it appeared Mr Case was coming to the end of his agreement to pay back creditors a percentage of his debts over five years, the newspaper said.

It is understood that after the deadline the outstanding balance of the debts is written off if payments have been kept up.

A spokesman for Hampshire Police said they were continuing to investigate the background and circumstances that led to the four deaths.

Post-mortem examinations revealed that Mr Case died as a result of a ligature suspension while his wife died from knife wounds.

The cause of death of the two girls has yet to be established although post-mortem examinations were due to take place yesterday.

Officers were called to the semi-detached house in Provost Street in the New Forest village at 11.20am on Monday after the shocking discovery.

The toddlers’ grandmother, who usually looks after them on Mondays, went to the house after phoning the family repeatedly and receiving no answer, a neighbour said.

Alayna Brooks, 53, said she rushed over to the house herself after the grandmother emerged, screaming: “All my babies are dead.”

Ms Brooks said she went inside and found Mrs Case dead in the dining room with a plastic bag over her head.

She then went upstairs and found the little girls dead on a bed while Mr Case was hanging on the landing.

The family was described by shocked and bewildered neighbours and friends as loving and happy and they had just returned from a week’s holiday in Weymouth, Dorset.

Mrs Case ran St Aldhelm’s children’s nursery in nearby Sandleheath.

A friend said: “She was friendly, bubbly, one of those really nice people.

“She ran the local nursery, all the local kids loved her, all the people loved her.”

Mr Case wrote recently of his pride in his family on his Facebook page: “I am 32, I got married in 2000 and have been with my wife, Vicki, for about 15 years. We have two beautiful daughters, Phoebe and Nereya.”

Pictures on the website show him playing and sharing chocolate Easter eggs with his laughing daughters.

John Underhill, Mr Case’s former boss at haulage firm Doccombe European Ltd, described him as a “model employee”.

He told the Daily Mirror: “They were a beautiful couple. They fought against the pressures of modern society to maintain a happy and responsible family life. Phoebe and Nereya were cherished by both above all.

“Andy was a model employee, hard working and well liked. He was loyal, honourable and charitable. He was due to run in the New Forest Marathon to raise money for Salisbury District Hospital Stars Appeal Caring 4 Kids Campaign.

“What has happened is incomprehensible.”

The family had only recently moved to the house.

A cordon remained set up around the property, which lies in a pretty street of terraced and semi-detached houses, some with riverside views.

Detectives and scene of crime officers could be seen continuing the investigation into the deaths.

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