Father stabbed his 13-month-old boy in neck

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A TODDLER who was found dead alongside his mother, father and brother at their family home near Leeds had been stabbed in the neck, a coroner has said.

Arran Smith, 13 months, is believed to have been murdered by his father Richard Smith, the coach of a children’s football team. It appears the 37-year-old also killed Arran’s mother Clair Smith, 36, and his other son, Ben, nine, before killing himself.

The bodies of all four were found in a smoke-filled bedroom in the detached house they shared in a quiet cul-de-sac in the Pudsey area of Leeds.

Yesterday, Leeds coroner David Hinchliff opened and adjourned inquests into all four deaths. During the hearing, it was confirmed Arran had died from a stab wound to the neck which severed his jugular vein, while Ben died from suffocation and smoke inhalation. Their mother Mrs Smith was killed by a stab wound to her chest that penetrated her liver, and Mr Smith died from smoke inhalation.

The police officer leading the investigation, Det Supt 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. The Yorkshire Post has learnt the two children and their mother are to be cremated without Mr Smith, at Rawdon Crematorium in January.

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.

Ben’s advent calendar was not opened on the Saturday so officers believe something happened overnight Friday or the early hours of Saturday.

Officers were talking to people who were at the cricket club party but confirmed there had been no reports of any unusual incidents at the function.

The family was found dead after concerned neighbours called at the £180,000 house in Sheridan Way followed soon after by police officers. Officers forced their way into the property and found the downstairs rooms tidy, but the upstairs was covered in soot from a fire in the bedroom. Det Supt Taylor said: “At 7pm on Sunday December 11 I went to the address to the report of four bodies being found. Found at the scene were four deceased people.

“Police are not seeking anyone else in connection with these deaths.”

Relatives have described the Smiths as a “perfect family” who appeared to have no problems and said they could not understand what had happened.

Mr Smith worked as a quantity estimator at a shopfitting firm and Mrs Smith was an accounts manager.