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SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENTS; They are the men behind some of the most horrific crimes of the last 30 years, whose murderous rage has unleashed carnage on those closest to them. Now a new study has probed the warped world of the family annihilators. Darren Devine reports...

THEY are one of crime's darkest phenomena - men driven by homicidal impulses to destroy what every natural urge should see them protect.

They are the family annihilators, whose bloodlust is only satisfied by the slaughter of their own children.

When wives and partners are spared, it's almost always with the intention of condemning them to a lifetime of agony following a split from the killer.

Now new research by Birmingham City University has grouped men who kill their families into four categories - anomic, disappointed, paranoid and self-righteous.

Lead author of the research, criminologist Dr Elizabeth Yardley, said anomic killers have an economic motivation.

Family equals economic success to this group and they murder after losing a job or while facing financial hardship.

A self-righteous killer blames the mother for his crime, citing her failure to properly raise the family.

The disappointed killer believes the family is not living up to his standard, ideals or beliefs.

And the paranoid killer thinks he is trying to protect his family, fearing that someone is trying to take his children away.

We spoke to Dr Yardley about the nine high-profile family annihilators in Wales over the last 15 years and asked her where they fit in to her findings.

BRIAN PHILCOX This 53-year-old karate instructor killed his two young children and then committed suicide after a bitter marriage breakdown.

On Father's Day weekend in June 2008, security guard Philcox picked up daughter Amy, seven, and Owen, three, as part of a regular contact visit.

Philcox, from Runcorn, drove to the Conwy Valley, in North Wales, before killing himself and the children with exhaust fumes.

Dr Yardley said: "He was very firmly blaming his wife or ex-wife for what he was going to do and he definitely falls into the self-righteous category." | VERDICT: SELF-RIGHTEOUS KEITH YOUNG: Farmhand Young, 38, forced his wife Samantha Tolley to listen on the phone while he gassed himself and their sons Joshua, seven, Thomas, six, Callum, five, and Daniel, three, to death.

Young had driven the boys from his Winsford home to the Horseshoe Pass, near Llangollen, in North Wales, on March 27, 2003, and killed himself and his sons by running a petrol lawnmower in the back of the Mitsubishi jeep.

Samantha, from Cheshire, had separated from Young and, shortly before the killings, had told him she had become pregnant by another man.

Dr Yardley said: "This was definitely self-righteous. He had completely lost control of the family unit that he had been domineering and possessive over at one point in time."

| VERDICT: SELF-RIGHTEOUS ROBERT MOCHRIE: In July 2000, 49-year-old hotelier Mochrie bludgeoned to death his wife Catherine, 45, and their children - Bethan, 10, Luke, 14, Sian, 16, and 18-year-old James.

Robert Mochrie, from Barry, in the Vale of Glamorgan, had ploughed funds from taking early retirement from the civil service into Power Station, a nightclub at the Barry Hotel.

It was later sold and he bought the Pembroke House Hotel in Haverfordwest, which then burnt down, plunging him into debt.

Dr Yardley says: "We've got him down as anomic because of all the financial issues."

| VERDICT: ANOMIC PAUL ROBERTS He killed himself and his three-year-old son Matthew in a fume-filled car because he feared losing a custody battle.

On the day the pair died in November 1999 in Cyfronydd, near Welshpool, Roberts had received a solicitor's letter saying he must return the boy to his mother pending mediation.

Roberts, from the Midlands, collected Matthew from nursery and drove to Mid Wales. He stopped off dozens of times to phone his former partner Jennifer Read, saying she would never see the boy again.Dr Yardley said: "This was another self-righteous one."

| VERDICT: SELF-RIGHTEOUS JULIAN PHILPOTT: The 29-year-old killed his sons Daniel, seven, and Jordan, four, and drove them around in his car before gassing himself in August 1999.

In his final conversation with partner Melanie Enticott, he told her she would never see her sons again.

The couple, from Pontypridd, had split after Philpott had recently been released from prison for assaulting his partner.

He was due in court on new charges of threatening to kill her.

Dr Yardley said: "He was drawing lots of attention to the fact he was going to do it, so it's definitely another self-righteous one."

| VERDICT: SELF-RIGHTEOUS PHILLIP HALL: In July 2000, marketing executive Hall stabbed his 12-year-old daughter to death with a carving knife, believing this would save the lives of other Christian families.

Hall, from Tintern, Monmouthshire, had suffered from delusions for eight years and had chronic paranoid schizophrenia before attacking his daughter in bed as she slept. He believed she would be reincarnated. Wife Karen heard a terrible scream and ran to her daughter's bedroom before Hall said: "I have stabbed her." He cradled Emma's head in his arms and told her: "I am sorry. I love you darling." Hall was later found not guilty of murder on the grounds of insanity and was detained at a secure hospital.

Emma Hall Dr Yardley said: "He had experienced mental health issues and we've got him down as paranoid."

| VERDICT: PARANOID ANDREW ROBERTS: Heroin addict Roberts strangled Louise L'Homme and their 10-month-old daughter Tia Roberts in February 2003.

Roberts had become "obsessive and jealous" after the couple got back together when he was released from prison for burglary.

A relative found the bodies of the mother and daughter after breaking into the couple's terraced house in Tylorstown after Roberts went on the run. Dr Yardley said: "I think he is a selfrighteous family annihilator given his history of jealousy and controlling behaviour with his partner." | VERDICT: SELF-RIGHTEOUS Andrew Roberts PERRY SAMUEL: Manic depressive Samuel smothered daughter Caitlin, five, and son Aiden, three, on Bonfire Night in 2006 because he thought his ex-fiancee, Sarah Graham, was having an affair.

Samuel, of Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire, North Wales, who was said not to be ill when he killed the children, dumped their bodies in the bath to make their deaths look like an accident.

He put his hand over his children's mouths to stop them breathing while Sarah was at a Pink concert in Manchester.

Samuel had snapped after finding a text message from another man on Sarah's phone referring to the Manchester concert. Dr Yardley said: "We've got this one down as self-righteous as well - very much seeking to blame his partner." | VERDICT: SELF-RIGHTEOUS CARL MILLS: Chronically jealous and controlling alcoholic Mills, 28, torched his girlfriend Kayleigh Buckley's Cwmbran home after bombarding her with threatening texts.

As well as 17-year-old Kayleigh, her and Mills' daughter Kimberley, six months, and the teenager's mother Kim Buckley, 46, died in the blaze. Mills groomed Kayleigh for sex after first making contact with her on Facebook in 2010 and moving to Cwmbran from Manchester.

After Kayleigh became pregnant with his twins, one of whom was stillborn, he realised his influence over her was diminishing and torched the house when Kimberley was allowed home for the first time on September 18 last year.

Dr Yardley said: "On the face of it, I would say this is a self-righteous one because he is someone who has been controlling and domineering right from the beginning of the relationship."

| VERDICT: SELF-RIGHTEOUS

CAPTION(S):

Amy Philcox and her three-year-old brother Owen

(From left) Callum, five, Joshua, seven, Daniel, three, and Thomas, six

Julian Philpott, who commited suicide after killing his two sons. Pictured with son Daniel and wife Melanie Enticott.

Perry Samuel leaves Caernarfon Crown Court

Kim Buckley, her granddaughter Kimberley and daughter Kayleigh After Kayleigh became
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 25, 2013
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