Tragic ... the Smith family
PROUD dad Richard Smith poses for an idyllic family portrait — alongside the "perfect" wife and sons he killed at the weekend.
Police think Smith, 41, first stabbed Clair, 35, Ben, nine, and 13-month-old Aaron.
Then when he discovered Ben was not dead he suffocated him.
He left the bodies for a day before shutting himself in a bedroom with them and starting a fire. Smith died from smoke inhalation.
The four bodies were discovered on Sunday afternoon on the couple's bed by Richard's brother Matthew and a friend.
"I don't know what's happened to make Richard flip. It's so sad.
"My heart has been ripped out by this. They were so lovely."
Police are investigating reports Smith had been in a close relationship with another woman. The family were last seen alive at 11pm on Friday as they took a taxi home from a Christmas party for the under-nines football team that Smith coached.
Police say the fact that Ben had not opened his advent calendar door on Saturday suggests he, his mum and brother were killed in the hours following the party. Clair and the boys had each suffered a single knife wound to the chest. It is believed they were stabbed with a kitchen knife.
Matthew was later alerted by the Smith's neighbours, who were concerned because the family had failed to turn up at a party on Saturday evening.
Matthew contacted Richard's best friend Dave McLean and they went to the house.
Matthew, Dave and three officers found the bodies.
The poignant family photo is thought to have been taken just a few weeks ago, around the time of Aaron's first birthday.
Clair's parents said: "She was a loving mum, her children were her life and everything centred around her family and home.
"She was our daughter and our best pal. We cannot imagine what caused this tragedy."
Caring ... Ben, nine, in Pudsey Bear outfit
Margaret Jablonski, a neighbour of the Smiths, said: "I can't believe Richard would do this.
"They seemed like such a happy family. Ben was such a lovely, well-mannered boy."
Flowers were left outside the house yesterday along with a football shirt signed by a friend of Ben's.
It read: "I will miss you every day. I will never forget."
Another message from a schoolfriend read: "Hope the angels look after you."
Culled from : The Sun