Man who murdered ex-partner's mother named

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A man who stabbed to death his ex-partner's mother then left a chilling message in blood before killing himself was named by sources today.

Sebastian Mercante, 40, confronted Carol Berry, 66, at her home in the Bradley area of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, on Friday evening where he launched a frenzied knife attack.

Her 36-year-old son, Andrew Field, was seriously injured as he tried to fend off the attack on his mother. He remains in hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Mercante, originally from Argentina and who was reported to be a former French Foreign Legion member, then travelled 30 miles to a multi-storey car park in Hanover Street, Manchester, where he jumped to his death from the eighth floor.

Written in blood on a wall was the chilling message: "F*** you Claire."

Police sources confirmed Mercante's identity today, while colleagues in West Yorkshire said no-one else was involved in what they described as a "targeted" and "domestic-related" attack.

A police source said the chilling message was linked to the murder investigation, and was thought to be directed at the man's ex-partner, named locally as Claire Tootill.

It was understood the couple had split acrimoniously.

"It is not known if the woman who died was the intended victim," the source said. "But she might well have been."

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "Detectives investigating the murder of a woman in Huddersfield have confirmed they are not seeking anyone else in connection with the inquiry after a man was found dead in Manchester."

The killer was not thought to have links to the West Yorkshire area and is believed to have flown from Spain to carry out the attack. Ms Berry's home was cordoned off over the weekend and a police officer stood at the end of her drive.

Blood could be seen smeared on her white front door.

The property was well-shielded from view by conifers, and neighbours said the owner "kept herself to herself".

Meanwhile in Manchester, the spot from where the killer jumped was unguarded by police, and more blood could clearly be seen on railings.

The West Yorkshire Police spokesman said officers were liaising with Greater Manchester Police.

"It is believed he had fallen from the roof," the force said.

"The death is not believed to be suspicious."