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Birling Gap deaths: Man stabbed wife before killing sons

Forensic officers Image copyright PA
Image caption Laura Cecilia Navarrete De Figueira was found dead at her family home in Twickenham

Two boys found dead at the bottom of cliffs had been drugged by their father after he stabbed their mother to death, an inquest has heard.

The body of Laura Cecilia Navarrete De Figueira, 47, was found at her family home in Twickenham on 5 March 2018.

That day, her husband Adelino Gabriel Figueira de Faria and sons Claudio, 10, and Joaquin, seven, were found dead at the foot of Birling Gap.

A coroner ruled Mrs Figueira and her sons had been unlawfully killed.

Traces of a sedative which should only be prescribed to adults were present in both children and their mother, an inquest at West London Coroner's Court heard.

Mrs Figueira died from multiple stab wounds.

Forensic pathologist Charlotte Randall said it was not possible to say whether the boys jumped, fell or were pushed from the cliff, more than 200ft (61m) above where their bodies were found in Eastbourne.

Image copyright Paul Farmer
Image caption Adelino Gabriel Figueira de Faria and his two sons were found dead on the beach at Birling Gap

A dog walker told the inquest she recalled seeing a male figure holding the hands of two boys in bright red jackets as they walked away from her.

In a statement read by coroner Sean Cummings, she said: "The children looked tired, they were walking in a reluctant manner - not the way you would expect a child to walk unless they were tired."

The bodies of Mr Figueira de Faria and his sons were later discovered by a photographer.

Officers described discovering Mrs Figueira body in the bedroom, lying on her back on the bed, with blood around her neck and chest.

'Savage and brutal'

Wounds on her hands and fingers suggest she had attempted to fight back, the inquest heard. She suffered more than 60 wounds.

The coroner ruled all three members of the family were killed unlawfully, calling the attack on Mrs Figueira "particularly savage and brutal".

A separate inquest was then opened for Mr Figueira de Faria.

Concluding Mr Figueira de Faria died by suicide, Mr Cummings said: "This is a terribly sad case. The family have my sincere condolences."

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