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Lisa Holland reports for BBC News
"His death may have been a grudge attack"
 real 28k

Sunday, 19 December, 1999, 18:16 GMT
Bodies linked to letter bomb murder

Mr Hoggarth's body was found in his flat last Saturday

A couple linked by police to the parcel-bomb murder of a young father in front of his three-year-old son have been found dead in an apparent double suicide.

David Broddle, whose body was found in a fume-filled car alongside that of his girlfriend Lorraine Richardson, was attacked and beaten up by Stephen Hoggarth almost two years to the day before Mr Hoggarth's death last weekend in Louth, Lincolnshire.

Police think Mr Hoggarth was holding bomb when it exploded
Neighbours of Mr Broddle and Ms Richardson who shared a home in nearby Horncastle described him as a quiet man who worked as a machine operator in a local plastics factory, and spent hours surfing the Internet in the evenings.

Last week, the 50-strong team of detectives investigating Mr Hoggarth's murder revealed that they were searching Internet sites in the belief that the killer may have learnt his bomb-making skills on the information superhighway.

Det Chief Supt Chris Cook, who is leading the inquiry, said: "I understand there are more than 300 sites on the Internet which relate to making weapons.

"It is very disturbing how much information about making explosives can be gleaned from the internet and of course it forms part of what is a wide-scope inquiry."

Son's ordeal

Meanwhile, Mr Hoggarth's estranged wife, Lynne Macdonald, 26, spoke for the first time of the impact his death has had on their son Callum, who spent two hours alone with his father's body before help arrived.

It is very disturbing how much information about making explosives can be gleaned from the internet
Det Chief Supt Chris Cook
In a statement issued via police, Ms Macdonald, who separated from her 32-year-old husband two-and-a-half years ago, said: "He has been through enough, and I just want to wake up from the worst nightmare and tell him it is over. But I can't.

"I must remain strong for Callum at this, the most difficult time of his life.

"Callum, my son, is my only priority, to love, cherish, guide and protect him through the rest of his life."

The bodies of Mr Broddle and Ms Richardson were found at the beauty spot of Monsal Head, near Bakewell, Derbyshire, by a man out walking his dog on Saturday morning.

A pipe led from the exhaust to the car and two notes were found by their bodies, said police.

Homes evacuated

After the discovery of the bodies, army bomb disposal experts were called in to search Mr Broddle's home in Horncastle.

Eight families were moved from their homes and a cordon put in place while the house was searched, amid fears that bombs may have been left inside the property.

Neighbour Linda Patrick, 44, said: "We were woken by police officers at about 9am and told to leave the area.

"We only had time to grab our coats and a few belongings before we had to get out. We got the all-clear about four hours later and were allowed to return to our homes."

Mrs Patrick said the couple moved into their 40,000 former council house, about two months ago.

"We knew they came from Louth and that the man worked in a local plastics factory but that was about it.

"They kept themselves to themselves and didn't seem to want to socialise. My son spoke to the man about two weeks ago and said he seemed a bit strange and anxious to end the conversation," she said.

Samantha Bryant, 26, said Mr Broddle worked as a machine operator in a local plastics factory called Polypipe.

"He didn't really talk to anyone at work and was out the door as soon as his shift ended."

Assault conviction

Detectives confirmed that Mr Broddle was assaulted by Mr Hoggarth almost two years to the day before the 11 December explosion.

The attack took place on 12 December, 1997, in the toilets of a social club in Louth during a Christmas party held by the company for which they both worked.

Last April, a court heard that Mr Hoggarth had approached Mr Broddle for no apparent reason and asked him "What's up with you, space cadet?" before hitting him at least six times, leaving him with a split lip and bruises.

He was convicted of assault, ordered to do 40 hours' community service, and lost his 16,000-a-year job as a lab technician.

An inquest into Mr Hoggarth's death is due to be opened on Tuesday.

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16 Dec 99 |  UK
Plea to catch parcel bomber
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