‘Seeing Sarah and the children’s bodies was very harrowing’

THE stepfather of Newcastle West murder victim, Sarah Hines, has spoken of his horrific ordeal when he went to identify her body and those of her children, Reece, 3, and Amy, 5 months, at the morgue in the Mid-Western Regional Hospital.

Peter Rolfe told how, one by one, he had to go in and identify each body.

Holding back tears, Mr Rolfe, a native of East London said: “It took just a few seconds to identify each. After identifying each, I had to go outside and then return.

“That time outside the morgue door waiting to go back in was the hardest. It seemed like 10 or 15 minutes. It took so long, or so it seemed at the time, in between identifying each of the three bodies.

“Seeing Sarah and the children’s bodies was very harrowing. I was the only one of the family there with the garda, who is the family liaison officer, and the rest waited at a nearby hotel while I was at the morgue.

“Seeing the bodies was unreal. Nobody needs that.”

Mr Rolfe said that when the bodies are released they will be brought to Tournafulla, in south-west Co Limerick, where it is planned to hold a church service before burial in the local cemetery.

He said: “No day has been set for the funeral, but the funerals will not take place before the weekend, because so many relatives are coming from England. It will be next week. A service will take place in Essex, in England, for the people who can’t make it.”

He confirmed that they had made contact with the father of Reece. “He lives in Ireland and I cannot say any more,” he said.

Mr Rolfe, 46, moved from London 10 years ago to live in Tournafulla, which is about 15km from the home at Feoghanagh where the Hines family live.

Meanwhile, the owner of the house at 18 Hazelgrove in Newcastle West where the four murders were committed, is contemplating demolishing the house.

A local person, who asked not to be named said: “He has told some people in Hazelgrove that he may demolish the house as he fears that it may attract ghoulish sightseers.

The source said: “I think he may also own the adjoining semi-detached house, so he could knock down No 18.”

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