Saturday 24 March 2018

Video: Survivor of IRA bomb stabs his two children to death and kills himself

Trooper Michael Pedersen with Sefton in 1982.
Trooper Michael Pedersen with Sefton in 1982.

Ben Mitchell London

A former army sergeant who survived a devastating IRA bomb blast has stabbed his two children to death before killing himself in a countryside lane.

The bodies of Michael (51), Ben (7) and Freya Pedersen (6) were found next to a Saab 900SE convertible car in the bridleway at Newton Stacey, near Andover, Hampshire, at 6.15pm yesterday.

Mr Pedersen was a former army sergeant in the Household Cavalry unit that was hit by an IRA nail bomb in Hyde Park in 1982.

Tonight the children's maternal grandfather, William Clifford (67), said outside his daughter Erica's home in Ashford, Middlesex: "We are obviously devastated and what we would ask is that you respect our privacy in this matter.

"It is extremely distressing and that is all I want to say."


Det Supt Tony Harris, of Hampshire police, said that the "tragic" incident happened while Mr Pedersen was on an arranged visit with the two children from his estranged wife.

Mr Pedersen, of Chertsey, Surrey, had taken the children to visit his father in Andover but failed to return the two youngsters to their mother by the pre-arranged time of 5pm.

The bodies were found lying behind the car at 6.15pm by a walker, according to police.

Mr Harris said police were tracing the family of Mr Pedersen, who had two other children from a previous relationship, when his estranged wife raised the alarm at 7pm.

He said he believed the deaths happened sometime that afternoon and he was not looking for anyone else asy.

Mr Harris said: "A Home Office pathologist visited the scene and at this time it appears the children suffered fatal stab wounds and Mr Pedersen took his own life shortly afterwards."

"It was the father of Mr Pedersen, the grandfather of the children."

The children's mother was informed by a family liaison officer and was being provided with support, he said.

The 1982 bomb attack hit as Mr Pedersen's unit was taking part in a changing of the guard ceremony.

Four soldiers and seven horses were killed in the explosion, which left Pedersen's horse Sefton seriously injured.

Despite 34 separate wounds that required eight hours of surgery, the animal survived.

Sefton became a symbol of the struggle against the IRA and won Horse of the Year, which Pedersen accepted.

Irish Independent

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