Inquest Opens Into Pudsey Deaths

22 December 2011, 14:21

An inquest has heard a toddler found dead at his home near Leeds along with his mother, father and brother had been stabbed in the neck.

Aaron Smith, 13 months, is thought to have been attacked along with his mother Clair Smith, 36, and his brother Ben, nine, by his father Richard Smith, 37, who then killed himself.

It appears Smith stabbed his wife and children before setting light to the main bedroom of their detached home in Pudsey, and killing himself by smoke inhalation.

Leeds Coroner David Hinchliff opened and adjourned inquests into all four deaths at a 15-minute hearing in the city.

He confirmed Aaron had died from a stab wound to the neck which severed the carotid artery and jugular vein.

Mr Hinchliff said Aaron's brother died from suffocation due to the obstruction of his airway and smoke inhalation.

Police have said Ben was also stabbed.

Mrs Smith died from a stab wound to the chest and ``external compression to the neck''. The court heard Richard Smith died from smoke inhalation.

The police officer leading the investigation, Detective Superintendent Paul Taylor, told the inquest no further tests on the bodies were needed and Mr Hinchliff ruled they could be released for funerals to take place.

Police have said the family were last seen at 11pm on Friday, December 9, when they left a Christmas party at Pudsey St Lawrence Cricket Club by taxi.

Mr Hinchliff adjourned the inquests to a date to be fixed.

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