Parents of stabbed children arrested

Girl of four and boy of five are dead and a baby girl is fighting for her life
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Two young children died from stab wounds and a baby girl was fighting for her life yesterday after an incident at a family home in Surrey on Friday.

A five-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl were found seriously injured at the house in Park Lane, Carshalton, and died shortly after midnight, while a six-month-old baby was in a critical condition with suspected stab wounds.

All three children were initially taken to the A&E department at St Helier Hospital, but the baby girl was later transferred to Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital in Westminster, where her condition was described by police yesterday as "serious".

A 39-year-old woman and a 35-year-old man, identified locally as the parents of the children, were arrested in connection with the stabbings.

The Metropolitan Police said officers were called to the house at 10.30pm on Friday. "Police and London Ambulance attended and found three children suffering serious injuries, believed to be stab wounds," a spokesman said.

"We believe we know the identity of the deceased; however, we await formal identification and confirmation that all family members have been informed."

Neighbours near the semi-detached house, which has been taped off by police, said they saw paramedics trying to resuscitate "a tiny bundle" on Friday night. One, who did not wish to be named, said that she saw officers carrying a "limp little body" out of the house. "It was obviously a child," she said.

Jim Duffy, who lives a few doors down from the house, said he saw a woman come out of the house with blood on her back but she did not appear to be injured.

"We saw them bringing a child out and then half an hour later they came out with another child and then a woman who had blood on her dress," he said.

"She was dressed in Indian-style clothes and they took her into an ambulance, not a police car.

"Later, a chap came out. He was quite calm and the police were being quite calm with him. They didn't handcuff him at first and he sat in the front of the police van making a telephone call."

Sen Gupta, who lives opposite the house, said the family was from a Tamil area of Sri Lanka.

"They moved in less than a year ago and she was still pregnant. Obviously she has had the baby now," said Mr Gupta.

Mr Gupta said a group of Sri Lankan people came to the house soon after the incident and told police they had lived in the house with the couple but had moved out because of "problems".

"The police came out and spoke to them. They must have been telling them the children had died, because they started screaming and crying," he added.

Mr Duffy said that after a man arrested in connection with the incident had made a phone call, police put him in the back of a police van. "They later put him in the cage at the back of the van and he seemed to have some sort of argument with the police but he didn't look like he was resisting arrest," he said.

He added that he saw police bringing a small evidence bag out of the house. "If it contained the weapon then it must have been very small. It was so small we couldn't see what it was.

"Carshalton is an oasis and it has become a popular area because house prices are reasonable. You don't get fights or brawls and even the kids are well behaved so this is very unusual."

Fellow neighbour Pat Thomas told how she watched the street fill up with emergency vehicles on Friday night.

"When we heard the fire engines I looked out and I saw a paramedic carrying the baby scooped up in his arms. Next they came out with the children. There were so many ambulances, five or six, that I was expecting them to bring out more people. But when the man and the woman walked out, quite normally, I couldn't believe it."

A post-mortem examination on the bodies of the children is expected to be carried out this week.