Young daughters 'hysterical' after double stabbing
Published 24/07/2015 | 02:30
A five-year-old girl screamed "help, help, help my mom" as she stood in the street beside her mother who was stabbed to death by her husband, an inquest heard.
South African couple Angelique and Cornelius Billing both died from multiple stab wounds in the Clare village of Kildysart on December 17 last.
The couple's young daughters, age five and three, witnessed the double killing and Garda John Cahill told an inquest the girls were "hysterical" when he arrived at their apartment.
The garda first found Mrs Billing (27) covered in blood staggering along Kildysart main street at 6.50pm and her daughter was "screaming and crying".
Mrs Billing "was holding the left side of her neck with her right hand and she was bleeding profusely", he said.
He left her in the care of fire service and followed one of the girls down a lane to the apartment where he saw the younger girl and Mr Billing (44) standing just outside the bathroom of the apartment with a long, black-handled kitchen knife covered in blood, which he eventually dropped.
"I told the children to step back into the living room - both children were hysterical," he said.
The garda was about to caution Mr Billing when he noticed he "was pale and he was staring into space . . . he had a large gash or laceration to the left side of his neck," said the garda, who used a child's teddy bear to stem the flow of blood.
The garda said he asked Mr Billing a number of times what happened and he eventually replied "Domestic dispute. She stabbed me. I stabbed her. Help me." Both were pronounced dead shortly after.
Gerry O'Halloran, of the Clare Fire Service, said the child was screaming as she stood over her mother in the street.
There was also "blood all over the landing - all the way up the stairs", he added. Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Michael Curtis, said Mrs Billing suffered 12 penetrating wounds, 10 incise wounds, defensive injuries on the palm of her right hand and minor blunt force trauma to the head.
Mr Billing died from a large deep wound to the neck that wounded his jugular vein and also had defensive injuries on his right hand.
A jury at their inquest returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence that Mrs Billing died from stab wounds to the neck and chest and her 44-year-old husband from a stab wound to the neck.