Page last updated at 16:58 GMT, Friday, 20 February 2009

'Nightmare' life without children

Det Serg Kevin Evans, Geraldine Craven and Bernice O"Connor
The children's aunt Geraldine Craven, centre, reads a statement from her sister Lyn McAuliffe, with Det Sgt Kevin Evans and Bernice O'Connor, another aunt


For Lyn McAuliffe every day since she lost her two young children has been a "constant nightmare" where she no longer copes, she just exists.

The 38-year-old wept during an inquest to hear details of how her daughter Amy Philcox, seven, and son Owen, three, were killed by their father Brian.

The pair were gassed to death by engine fumes at a Conwy Valley beauty spot, where Mr Philcox also killed himself.

Following the hearing Ms McAuliffe, from Cheshire, revealed her heartache.

In a statement read outside Llandudno Magistrates' Court by her sister Geraldine Craven, she said: "Since Amy and Owen died my life has been a constant nightmare.

"I don't feel as if I have been coping - just existing.

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Geraldine Craven reads a statement from her sister Lyn McAuliffe about life without her children

"No day is easy without them. Christmas was particularly hard and recently both Amy and Owen would have celebrated their eighth and fourth birthdays.

"It is the little things that I really miss about them like lying on the bed in the evenings reading bedtime stories and trying to put on different voices to represent the different characters in the book.

"They loved that and we all used to have a real good laugh at my attempts.

"Amy was the boss. She was very strong willed, very artistic and loved nothing more than dressing up, playing with make-up, painting and drawing.

"She was exceptional for her age and loved painting pictures of mermaids and butterflies.

"Owen was more laid back. He enjoyed playing with his Thomas the Tank Engine toys and chasing people around the house with his toy dinosaurs.

Amy and Owen Philcox
Amy and Owen Philcox would have celebrated their eighth and fourth birthdays recently

"Owen was very loving towards his sister and me.

"He would snuggle up to me and play with my hair, pulling it around my face, rubbing it in his cheeks and playing with it like a baby would play with a comfort blanket.

"These are the things that I miss, but most of all I miss just not having them around."

Ms McAuliffe, of Runcorn, Cheshire, was in the process of divorcing Mr Philcox when in June 13 last year he took the children during an access day away.

The hearing was told that he knew we would be unable to see them on Father's Day and so hatched a plan to kill them.

The inquest also heard how he had also rigged up improvised explosive devices in his home designed to detonate when his ex-wife called.

Of Mr Philcox, Ms McAuliffe added: "Some people have mentioned that maybe some day, I or we as a family, will forgive Brian.

"I will never forgive him for taking our beautiful Amy and Owen. He had no right to take their lives.

"He was an evil man whose attempts to use home-made bombs clearly show that all his acts were that of a cold-blooded, premeditated killer."

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SEE ALSO
Death at a tranquil beauty spot
20 Feb 09 |  North West Wales
Funeral of children gassed in car
26 Jun 08 |  Merseyside
Remote, quiet spot hit by tragedy
16 Jun 08 |  North West Wales
Tributes to children found dead
16 Jun 08 |  Merseyside

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