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Tuesday, 6 November, 2001, 15:45 GMT
PC 'killed family with hammer'
Bluestone children
The two eldest children survived the attack
A police officer bludgeoned his wife and two of his children to death in a hammer attack, an inquest heard.

PC Karl Bluestone carried out the killings after his wife told him she was leaving him and taking their children away.

PC Bluestone murdered his wife Jill, 31, and two of their children Henry, three, and Chandler, 18 months, at their Kent home.

The Bluestones' two other children, Jessica, six, and Jack, seven, survived the attack, on August 28 this year.

She had blood coming out of her neck. I don't want daddy to kill mummy

Jessica Bluestone

The court heard Mr and Mrs Bluestone had several violent fights in the past, including one in June this year, in which PC Bluestone throttled his wife until she became unconscious.

Mrs Bluestone told a friend afterwards that her husband had said "there is no divorce, the only way out is death".

On Tuesday, the inquest in Gravesend heard PC Bluestone, 36, became irate in the days leading up to the attack, believing Mrs Bluestone was having an affair with a work colleague.

The inquest was told, in a statement from Jessica, what happened to Mrs Bluestone.

Jessica ran from the family home after PC Bluestone banged her head against a wooden floor, while hitting Mrs Bluestone with the hammer.

Minutes later, Jessica told a neighbour: "I cannot get mummy out of my mind.

The Bluestones' funeral procession
Jill Bluestone and her children were buried separately from Karl
"She had blood coming out of her neck. I don't want daddy to kill mummy."

Henry, three, was found lying in a pool of blood at the bottom of the stairs and Chandler, 18 months was found dead in his cot.

Mrs Bluestone was found in the kitchen with the bloodstained hammer lying beside her.

After carrying out the attacks PC Bluestone went into the garage and hanged himself with a piece of rope.

In the weeks leading up to the killings, PC Bluestone increasingly believed his wife was having an affair and recorded her telephone calls on a mini-disc.

On 25 August Mrs Bluestone made it clear to her husband she was going to leave and that was the breaking point in their relationship, the inquest heard.

'Life in danger'

In a statement read out by Detective Chief Inspector Colin Murray, Mrs Bluestone had told a friend she felt increasingly in fear of her life.

"She thought he would try to kill her," the friend had said.

In earlier incidents, PC Bluestone punched Jill in the stomach while she was pregnant and in another threatened her with a meat cleaver.

In June 1999, PC Bluestone smashed the back windscreen of Mrs Bluestone's car and started throwing objects around a room, with a vase striking Jessica's head.

He was arrested and on the way to the police station took a quantity of pills.

Just two days before the killings, a woman saw the family having a heated row in a park.

On the day of the murders PC Bluestone came home from work after going for a drink with some colleagues and started having an argument with Jill.

'Head injuries'

The argument paused while PC Bluestone watched The Bill on television, but resumed shortly afterwards.

Ernest Lane, the Bluestones' neighbour, said that sometime during the incident Jessica banged on the door and "looked terrified".

He said: "I saw a child knocking frantically on the glass door and saw that it was Jessica Bluestone from next door. She looked terrified.

"She said 'My daddy is hitting my mummy. Please call the police'."

Coroner Roger Hatch recorded verdicts of unlawful killing for Mrs Bluestone, Henry and Chandler, with head injuries being the cause of death.

The verdict for PC Bluestone was one of suicide, with the cause of death as "suspension".

The BBC's Margaret Gilmore
"It was a tragic brutal end to what a court heard was a turbulent marriage"

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