A statue of Lady Justice on a courthouse roof. File picture: Pixabay

London - A father killed his two young children and estranged wife because he wrongly thought she was having an affair, an inquest heard on Monday.

Paul Newman, 42, bludgeoned wife Geraldine, 51, to death with a hammer in the living room and stabbed Shannon, 11, and Shane, six, multiple times in their bedroom, using three knives and leaving a ‘horrific scene of brutality’ in the family home.

The Catholic covered their bodies and placed crosses, rosary beads, a statue of Jesus and a tiger doll on the children he was said to adore. He then travelled 170 miles from Allerton Bywater, West Yorkshire, to Anglesey and jumped to his death from the cliff top where he had proposed to his wife on Christmas Eve 17 years earlier.

Newman, a driver, had been jailed for assaulting Mrs Newman in 2013, and although they were reconciled after he completed the prison term, their marriage had started to ‘disintegrate’, the inquest heard. The couple had split up weeks before the tragedy in 2016 and Mrs Newman had told a relative that she was ‘terrified of him’. The inquest heard that Newman left a long letter on the kitchen counter after the killings which indicated his feelings of jealousy.

His sister Rita Farley said Newman ‘thought she was having an affair with a guy called Martin’. However, police took a statement from the man who confirmed they had ‘never met’.

The domestic assault incident in 2013 happened after Newman saw text messages from a man on his wife’s phone. Mrs Farley said that up until that point, her brother was ‘not a violent man’ and ‘idolised’ his children. Newman moved out of the family home in December 2015 to stay with relatives.

But he was at the house on the evening of January 31, 2016. The couple were heard arguing in the background during a video phone call their daughter made at 7 pm.

Sometime before mid-morning the next day, Newman carried out the attacks. Colleagues of Mrs Newman, a store manager, found the bodies on February 2 after becoming concerned for her safety. Mrs Newman died from three hammer blows to the head.

The scene in an upstairs bedroom was so shocking that a paramedic had to take several months off work. Post-mortem examinations revealed Shannon had been stabbed 12 times to the neck and chest. Shane suffered ten stab wounds to the same area and defence injuries to his hand.

Police investigator Richard Smith said Newman’s letter said ‘I’m sorry’ at one point, but did not admit guilt.

Newman left the house mid-morning on February 1 and travelled by train to Holyhead and ended up at a cliff top near the South Stack lighthouse. The inquest heard he fell 240ft on to rocks.

Coroner Kevin McLoughlin concluded Mrs Newman and the two children were unlawfully killed and Newman committed suicide.

Daily Mail