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Victims stabbed up to 60 times in gruesome killings

A man who murdered two women and two young children during a jealous rage committed a "mindless, mind-numbing, inexplicable, vicious" crime, an inquest has heard.

John Geary (37) killed his ex-partner Sarah Hines, her two children Reece (3) and Amy (five months), and another woman, Alicia Brough, during a stabbing frenzy in 2010 that shocked the nation.

Verdicts of death as a result of multiple stab wounds were recorded for all four victims at Limerick Coroner's Court at Newcastle West.

SHOCK

Coroner Brendan Nix said the autopsies were so gruesome he was forwarding the details on to the GPs of the bereaved families.

He expressed his deep shock at how the victims were "cut down" by Geary – who is serving four concurrent life sentences.

Four knives and a screwdriver were used in the attack, and the victims were stabbed almost 60 times.

According to Mr Nix, the two women and two children were "done to death" in the most violent manner. "One can only guess at the fear they were in before they died.

"It is absolutely shocking and reminds us that the death of a child in such circumstances, no matter how hard a professional you may be, it is the most awful thing imaginable," he told the court.

"Two little children cut down with their mother and a friend who was visiting their home."

Speaking after the inquest, Ms Brough's mother, Maria Dempsey, said: "I don't want them to just become a statistic, and that nothing is learned from this.

"People are committing suicide because of emotional stresses. But infanticide is also becoming all too common and domestic murders are becoming all too common and I just ask that relevant authorities take on the job that the women's services have been doing for so long."

Ms Brough was a close friend of Ms Hines and often stayed with her in her home on Newcastle West in Limerick.

She was visiting Ms Hines on the night of the attack – November 15, 2010 – in order to give her support following her split from Neary.

Geary had pleaded guilty to murdering Hines, their five-month-old daughter Amy, her three-year-old brother Reece and Brough at the house in Hazelgrove.

hnews@herald.ie


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