Debts led mother to kill herself and two children

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A LOVING mother who could see "no way out" of her family's mortgage arrears drugged herself and her two children before setting fire to their home, an inquest heard.

Linda Mulvihill told her son, Nicholas, nine, and daughter Carly, 11, she was taking them with her to "the angels in heaven", then sent them to sleep and used petrol to set alight their home at West Way, Lancing, West Sussex.

Mrs Mulvihill, 35, had not told her husband Pat their two-bedroom semi- detached bungalow was to be repossessed three days later, Worthing Coroner's Court heard. She had put her husband's possessions into his car, and parked it away from the bungalow. His collection of model cars was taken to her father's caravan nearby.

Mrs Mulvihill, a former bank worker, managed the family's finances. Mr Mulvihill believed she had solved an earlier mortgage arrears problem.

Det Ch Insp Dave Gaylor said Mrs Mulvihill had put farewell notes to her family, including her husband, through a neighbour's letterbox. In one, she said she saw " no way out" and had told the children they were going to "heaven to see the angels".

Mr Mulvihill is a building site foreman in Horsham. Mr Gaylor said: "His life has been destroyed and nothing is ever going to heal it for him." The West Sussex coroner, Roger Stone, recorded a verdict of suicide on Mrs Mulvihill and unlawful killing on her children.