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Family were killed in jealous rage

A JEALOUS rage was the motive for the sickening murders of two children and two women in Limerick, gardai believe.

Officers are working on the theory that the four murders were sparked because mum Sarah Hines embarked on a new relationship.

The 25-year-old had been in contact with a childhood friend from England in the weeks before she was stabbed to death with her two children and best friend.

Gardai believe that the murder suspect fell out with Sarah after learning of the blossoming romance.

The mum-of-two had struck up a bond with English martial arts expert Chris Bradley, who planned to move to Ireland and marry her.

Gardai were today continuing to detain a 31-year-old man over the murders of Sarah, her son Reece (3), five-month-old daughter Amy and friend Alicia Brough (20).

Officers believe the four victims had been dead for 24 hours before being found at Sarah's home in Newcastle West.

The chief suspect was found drinking vodkas and 7-Ups in the Central Bar in Kilkee, Co Clare, following a massive manhunt.

He had gone to the town by bus and booked a room at the four-star Stella Maris hotel.

He was the only resident in the hotel on Monday night and drank in his room, number 1.

His period of questioning at Limerick's Henry Street Garda Station was suspended yesterday when he was transferred to Cork University Hospital for medical attention.

He remained in hospital this morning after undergoing minor surgical treatment for knife wounds to his hands. It is believed that he suffered the injury before being arrested.

Martial arts expert Bradley (35), from Basildon in Essex, has revealed he was planning to move to Ireland to be with Sarah.

He had been speaking to her on Monday at 12.30pm – just hours before she was murdered – and she told him her exboyfriend had taken her phone.

Bradley vented his annoyance at this on Facebook, writing: “My girl in Ireland has had her fone robbed from her.” He added: “How do you think you are stealing from a single mother ..

“I will be in ireland in the next 4 weeks and if you have a problem with me then take a deep breath matey as i will snap you like a twig.... u wanna pull my chain then hell comes with me.”

Bradley said he has known Sarah since she was five or six years old as they both grew up together in Essex. He was 10 years older than her. The last time he saw her was when she was 13 after which she moved to Ireland with her mother Abina Hines and younger brothers Christopher and Jesse.


He wanted to marry her but Sarah's father told him to “wait until she's 16”.

The pair had been planning a new life in Ireland together for the last 18 months and corresponded frequently on Facebook. Sarah even admitted to falling in love with him.

Bradley posted that he was “gutted, shot to pieces” by her murder and plans to attend her funeral to pay his respects.

He wrote on Facebook that Sarah was his “future wife 2 be”. R.I.P Sarah Hines and children, will always love u and be in my heart forever.x.”

In the early hours of Sunday morning, he revealed his intention to move to Ireland and be with Sarah through “thick and thin”.

But his dreams were shattered by the subsequent terrible events.

“Head is f ****d r.i.p sarah, reece, amy and alicia. Lifes taken for no reason, sick f****n no good waster, prepare for pain. r.i.p sarah and babies, my life has just changed forever,” he wrote on Facebook.

It is understood Sarah's father Christopher Snr (49) lives in Amsterdam and only found out about the deaths over the internet.

Sarah's stepdad Peter Rolfe identified her body and those of her two young children yesterday afternoon.

Mr Rolfe said he and Abina last spoke to Sarah on Friday night when they called to visit her at her new home.

He said she did not have a bad bone in her body, saying “she was brilliant”.

In a phone call after the murders, the chief suspect told close friend Michael Bradley: “I've done something terrible.”

The call from a public payphone in Kilkee led to gardai discovering the horrific scene at the Hazelgrove estate on Tuesday afternoon. The Herald has learned that the suspect has admitted responsibility for the killings to gardai.

He confessed his role to Bradley, who does not wish to offer any comment on why his friend murdered the two adults and two children.

“He's very upset, he won't be talking to anyone,” a family member said.

The full details of events leading up to the murders are now emerging.


The Herald understands a fight broke out in the kitchen of Sarah's house on Monday morning. Little Amy was nearby while Reece had been brought to a local shop by Alicia.

As the intense argument became more physical, Alicia Brough returned to the house from the shop with Reece and witnessed her friend being savagely assaulted.

Alicia attempted to intervene, but ultimately died alongside her close friend and the two children.