Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Custodial dad with violent criminal history, and in "custody battle" with children's mother, kills 3- and 11-year-old sons in murder-suicide (United Kingdom)

A lengthy article that nevertheless manages to muddle the story with all the gory details on how the bodies were discovered.

Let's boil this down to the essential facts.

1) Dad GRAHAM ANDERSON was IMPRISONED for assaulting the mother's new boyfriend or presumed boyfriend. This would strongly suggest a man who has violent and controlling tendencies, wouldn't you think?

2) While Dad is in prison, Mom loses the kids to foster care based on (rather vague) complaints about her "chaotic lifestyle" and that her "relationships" were not "child-centered." What the hell does that mean? We aren't told. But given how vague and specious the accusations are, I'm not sure how seriously I take the claim about her "binge drinking." True? Not true? Who knows.

3) Meanwhile, the idiotic (pro-fathers rights?) social worker visits Daddy in prison and decides that Daddy was "totally devoted" to the children.

4) In a blatant anti-mother/pro-daddy move, somehow mother's "chaotic lifestyle" (whatever the hell that is) is judged WORSE than the father's proven criminal record of assault and actual violence. SO HE GETS CUSTODY.

5) The same idiotic social worker visits Daddy's home and deems it "calm and natural." Really?

6) Mom naturally tries to save her sons from this apparently sociopathic and violent father who manages to win over stupid people. Even the landlady found him "lovely." This was going to be a tough fight.

7) Meanwhile, Daddy is apparently something of a deadbeat and gets behind on the rent. Rather than get evicted and go homeless and possibly lose custody (total control over the kids), he SLAUGHTERS THEM.

Just goes to show that these guys are totally motivated by their desire to hurt the mother and keep her children away from her. Whether it's by beating up her new boyfriend or taking her kids away from her (through custody or violent death)--it's all the same to these guys.

When will the system learn this? Or are they too infiltrated by the fathers rights movement?


Mother looking at new flat with her two young children walked in on horrific scene after man 'killed his sons, 11 and 3, and took his own life'

The mother was confronted with horrific scenes as she looked at flat

Graham Anderson had killed his young sons and then himself

He was due to be evicted the next day and was in legal battle with mother

A neighbour heard screams the night before the grim find

She said she heard a boy scream: 'What are you doing to me?'

By Sam Webb PUBLISHED: 10:54 EST, 12 November 2013 | UPDATED: 11:47 EST, 12 November 2013

A woman going to see a new flat stumbled on an horrific scene where two children had been murdered and their father had killed himself, a coroner heard today.

The shocked mother, who had her own children with her, reeled in horror after entering her prospective new home where the bodies of Graham Anderson, 36,and his sons Jack, 11, and Bryn, three were.

A coroner heard that Anderson had been due to be evicted the day before all the bodies were found in the ground floor flat in Auchinleck House, Tidworth, Wiltshire, because he had failed to keep up his rent payments. A neighbour heard the boys screaming the night before their bodies were found

The inquest heard that the night before the shocking find, a neighbour was awoken by the screams of the two young boys.

A neighbour told how she was awoken the previous evening by 'frightening screaming' and heard one of the boys yell 'what are you doing to me?'

Just 10 days before his body was found Mr Anderson had been prescribed a two-week course of sleeping tablets having visited his GP to complain of problems sleeping due to the stress of an impending custody battle with the mother of his children, Victoria Jones.

The father and his sons were found dead on September 1, 2012, as Denise Evans was showing the prospective tenant around the flat owned by her nephew.

Anderson had been served notice of eviction for the ground floor flat after failing to pay all but the first two months of rent and was supposed to have left on August 31.

Colin Anderson had been released from prison in November 2011 having been jailed for assaulting a man he believed was in a relationship with Victoria Jones, the mother of his children

Mrs Evans had visited to collect the keys to the property at 12pm that day.

After a quick look around the flat, which had not been vacated and an unanswered call to Anderson’s phone, she left and returned an hour later with prospective new tenant Keeley Andrew-Hedge, her twin babies and her mother Sarah.

'Sarah and I went in the kitchen and Keeley wandered off upstairs. Then she started screaming that there was somebody lying on the floor,' said Mrs Evans.

'He was lying on his front to the side, I could not see his face. He was at the bottom of the bed. At first I didn’t even think he was dead.

'Immediately we called the emergency services.

'We picked Keeley’s twin babies up and got out of the flat,' added Mrs Evans.

'I said to Sarah that Graham had two children. Their bedroom door was closed, I just couldn’t open it, once I had discovered him, because of the fear.'

Mrs Evans added that she had previously called social services with her concerns after serving Anderson with his eviction notice.

'I said that the family were going to be homeless at the end of the month and asked why was that not taken more seriously?' she said.

The coroner, sitting in Salisbury, Wiltshire, heard a statement from Sarah Dodman, who lived in the ground floor flat neighbouring Anderson.

Before reading the statement, Coroner David Ridley warned the members of the public that its content was 'graphic' and they could leave the courtroom if they wanted to.

No one left the courtroom but family members did sob as Mr Ridley read out the harrowing details.

Miss Dodman, who lives alone her dog, said:

'I was woken by a loud noise which came from the wall.

'My bedroom was directly next to the bedroom of the two boys who lived there with their dad.

'I was woken by one loud thud against the wall. I would describe myself as a heavy sleeper but I heard this. It sounded like a kick to the wall.

'My dog, asleep on my bed, jumped and sat up. I know the time was 4.55am as I looked at my clock.

'I heard the older of the two boys cry and the little boy also began to cry loudly and sounded scared.

'I lay there for no more than a minute. I thought this is going to set the dog off.

'I heard little bangs on the wall which sounded like the older boy was flailing about - he was screaming.

'The little boy, who was scared, was crying - I don't know how to describe it. This was not a little kid waking up with an attention scream - this was frightened screaming. I've never heard that before.

'The older boy's scream was very loud. I just can't really describe it, my stomach just clenched and I thought that's not right.

'The dog started to stir and I didn't want him to bark, so I carried him into the lounge. I could hear the little boy screaming.

'I could hear the older boy screaming 'what are you doing to me?'.

'It was exceptionally clear and he must have done it four or five times. I did not hear another voice and he did not stop crying the whole time.

'I still thought he was having a bad dream. I then heard a thud, thud, thud of his feet, he was still screaming "what are you doing to me?".

'It has not stopped and I didn't hear any footsteps. I heard banging like he was running around.

'In my mind I wondered if that boy has got behavioural problems. That was the impression I had. I then heard a low voice, no shouting, and it went on for about five minutes.

'I could not make out any words spoken, just the murmuring of a deep voice. At that time the little one was just screaming, screaming and screaming.

'The sound came from the opposite side of the wall to my bed. He was obviously in a cot.'

'His screaming was drowning out what was going on with the other boy. I lay there thinking the dad's dealing with the older boy but whose dealing with him?

'I have no children but I know you shouldn't be crying for that long. If something was happening and the boy was having behavioural problems the way to deal with it was to keep him away from the little one.

'I thought if the other one was having a nightmare, he's dealing with the child and the other one is going to have to just cry for a little bit longer and he'd go back to him.

'I did wonder what the hell was going on. I was laying there thinking should I go around there, knock on the door? I thought he doesn't know me and he'd probably think I was a busybody.

'In the end I fell back to sleep. I remember the little one crying for quite a long time but I cannot be certain for how long. I took me quite a long time for me to get back to sleep.'

Miss Dodman said that she thought the screaming had gone on for about an hour but she could not be certain.

'The very specific words I heard are 'what are you doing to me?' and are absolutely burned into my brain and I will never forget that.

I did not hear any other words - just that same phrase. I did not wake up again until my alarm went off at 6.30am.'

The inquest also heard that Mr Anderson had been released from prison in November 2011 having been jailed for assaulting a man he believed was in a relationship with Ms Jones.

By that time Jack and Bryn had been placed with foster parents by Hampshire County Council’s social services department.

However, upon Mr Anderson’s release from prison, he gained custody of Jack and Bryn and moved to the flat in Tidworth while Ms Jones lived in Andover.

The inquest heard the deaths of Jack and Bryn were believed to be suspicious but the coroner is yet to hear any evidence from the police or a pathologist.

Before hearing evidence, David Ridley, the Coroner for Wiltshire and Swindon, said the inquest would look at the role the 'state' - such as doctors and social services - had prior to the deaths of the two boys and whether lessons could be learned.

Attending the inquest was Mr Anderson's brother and sister and Ms Jones's parents. Ms Jones was not present.

Social worker Jas Banes, who as an agency employee was placed full-time with Hampshire County Council, took on Jack and Bryn's case in September 2011.

The experienced social worker told the inquest: 'There was sporadic contact with their mother and I first began looking at engaging with the parents to see if the children could return home.

'Graham was in prison, so Victoria was the focus of my attention. They were well settled in their foster placement but Jack very much wanted to return home.'

Mr Banes said Ms Jones had a long-standing alcohol problem and led a 'chaotic lifestyle'.

'Victoria was a binge drinker and the types of relationship she would get involved in were not child-centred - there were concerns about that,' he said.

Mr Banes said there was a plan for Jack and Bryn to return to live with their mother by Christmas 2011 but Ms Jones changed her mind, so the social worker went to see Mr Anderson in prison.
He said that a 'parent assessment' was carried out on Mr Anderson after his release and added:

'He was totally devoted to the children.

'I didn't see him at any point wanting to step back from taking on responsibility of being their full time carer,' he said.

The inquest heard that Mr Anderson applied to the family court for a residency order for the children, which was granted in May 2012 and they went to live with him in Tidworth.

'My understanding was that Victoria was going to contest that but subsequently agreed that Graham was the best carer,' he said.

Mr Banes told the hearing how he initially visited Mr Anderson and the children every couple of weeks and over the summer of 2012 the visits became less regular as he said that he had no concerns about their welfare, describing the family environment as 'calm and natural'.

The social worker told the hearing that Mr Anderson wanted to move to back to Andover but a application with a housing association had been rejected because of concerns about 'anti-social behaviour'.

The court heard that on August 14 last year, Mrs Evans contacted Hampshire social services to report that an eviction notice had been served on Mr Anderson as he had not paid the rent.

Mr Banes said: 'I spoke to Graham about it and my understanding was that the housing benefit was being paid direct to the landlord.

'There are some conversations I had that unfortunately, a mistake on my part, I have not recorded.

'Graham was saying that he was not going to be evicted because he was looking for somewhere else to live.

'I did not get a sense that there was an urgency to this. He presented as he always presented - he was calm and content.'

She described Mr Anderson as 'lovely' but as he had not paid the rent since the turn of the year, she was left with no choice but to evict him.

'I thought that might liven his ideas up to be honest,' she said.

'But it didn't. He didn't pay another further payment and I made arrangements to pick up the keys at the end of the notice,' she told the inquest.

'I phoned him and said that as he had not paid the rent I was going to give him notice. I said "you're a silly boy because you are making your kids homeless".

'He did say that Victoria had taken the money but I said "that's not my concern, you're responsible for paying the rent - nobody else".'

Mr Banes said that he last spoke to Mr Anderson at the end of July but did not see anything that caused him any worries.

'It saddens me to say it but there were no indications that I picked up. If there had been issues of concern then I would have taken action on it,' he said.

The inquest also heard briefly from another neighbour Wilailak Houghton who said Mr Anderson helped her lift her baby's pram into the block of flats at around 6.30pm the evening before his and the children's bodies were discovered.

A man walking to work shortly before 5.30am the following day said he saw a light on in the flat, which he thought was odd.

The inquest also heard evidence from paramedics who described finding the bodies of Jack and Bryn in their beds covered by duvets.

The inquest, which was expected to last for three days, was adjourned until tomorrow.