A police inspector strangled and stabbed his wife and six-year-old daughter in a frenzied attack before killing himself with a kitchen knife, just one week after being fired from the force, an inquest heard yesterday.
Toby Day, 37, attacked his wife Samantha and daughter Genevieve at their home in Melton Mowbray last December. Their two older children, Kimberley, 16, and Adam, 14, survived stab wounds to the neck and chest.
Only hours earlier, Mr Day had been told that newspapers were investigating the circumstances of his dismissal from Leicestershire Police.
Mr Day was fired for misconduct a week before the attack on 8 December. Reports at the time said he had been sacked for misusing police systems and for matters “concerning honesty and integrity”.
Recording a verdict of unlawful killing for 38-year-old Samantha and Genevieve, and one of dying at his own hands for Mr Day, the coroner for Rutland and North Leicestershire, Trevor Kirkman, said: “No one here or in the wider community could fail to have been touched by these tragic incidents.”
The full sequence of events leading up to the attack was revealed at the emotional hearing in Loughborough, attended by the two surviving children.
Mr Day had spent the morning of the attack with his wife and her parents in Market Overton in the East Midlands, shortly after dropping Genevieve at school.
The couple then went shopping in the town, during which time Mr Day received a call to tell him that newspapers had contacted Leicestershire Police asking about the circumstances of his dismissal.
Later that day, his daughter Kimberley raised the alarm when she ran to her nearby school with stab wounds to her neck. Armed police were then dispatched to the family’s property at about 4.20pm.
A police cordon was set up around the house while police tried to negotiate with the former inspector. When their attempts came to nothing, armed police forced their way into the family home.
They discovered Mr Day’s body, with several stab wounds to the chest, in the living room. The bodies of Mrs Day and Genevieve were found in an upstairs bedroom at the back of the house. The inquest heard that Mr Day had strangled and stabbed his wife after punching her in the face during a row.
Guy Rutty, a Home Office pathologist, told the hearing: “The most likely sequence of events was there was an initial assault which resulted in the injury to the eye and other minor injuries. She was then strangled and that could certainly have rendered her unconscious if not resulted in her death. Finally we are of the opinion that she was stabbed.”
He told the hearing the stabbing occurred close to the time of her death and that Mrs Day may have been unconscious or already dead at the time. He then strangled and stabbed Genevieve, Professor Rutty told the hearing.
Summing up, the coroner said: “It’s difficult for anyone dealing with it and it is almost unimaginable to think of the thoughts of the family who seek to come to terms with the events. It is a case that causes particular anguish because of the circumstances.”
Adam looked at the floor while Kimberley stared straight ahead as the coroner read out his verdict of unlawful killing for Mrs Day, a nursery worker, and Genevieve. Mr Kirkman said he was satisfied that no third party had been involved in their deaths.
In a statement released by Leicestershire Police following the hearing, Deputy Chief Constable Simon Evans said: “The events of last December were truly tragic, in every sense of the word.
“Our thoughts today, at the conclusion of the inquest, are very much with Adam, Kimberley and their family.”