Gulf war veteran charged with family murders

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The Independent Online

A 41-year-old Gulf War veteran was tonight charged with the murders of four members of his own family.

David Bradley, a former Royal Artillery private, was charged with killing Peter Purcell, 70, Josie Purcell, 70, Keith, 44, and Glen, 41, who were all shot dead at their home in the West End of Newcastle.

Bradley, of Benwell Grove, Newcastle, will appear before Newcastle Magistrates' Court tomorrow morning.

Bradley was arrested on Sunday morning when he walked into his local police station on Westgate Road at 6.15am and said there were four dead bodies at his home.

He had served for eight years with the Royal Artillery and had seen active duty in the first Gulf War, Bosnia and Northern Ireland, Northumbria Police said.

Detectives said the four family members - Mr and Mrs Purcell and two of their sons - had all died during a five hour period between 9pm on Saturday and 2.15am on Sunday.

Mr and Mrs Purcell, who were both retired, had lived at the end-terrace house in Benwell Grove for 22 years.

They shared their home with their disabled son Keith and nephew Bradley. Glen, a glass fitter, was visiting his parents for the weekend from his home in Wales.

As well as Keith and Glen, they had three other children: Peter, 49, Michael, 47, and Jacqueline, 46.

A second daughter, Lorraine, died of cancer two years ago at the age of 41.

Mr Purcell ran a family roofing business with his two sons Keith and Glen before retiring around 10 years ago.

"They have always lived in the West End of Newcastle and were extremely popular and well-known among the local community," said Superintendent Steve Wade at a news conference at Etal Lane police station.

"Peter was a popular man and well-known in the clubs in the West End and had an active social life.

"Josie, as well as raising a family, worked as home help. Keith suffered an accident at work, which left him disabled and recent ill-health left him needing crutches.

"Glen, after working for his father, had settled in Wales and worked as a glass fitter and visited Benwell Grove from time to time."

Many floral tributes were left outside the family house, including those from Keith's daughter, Bianca.