A FORMER army sergeant who survived an IRA bomb blast has stabbed his two children to death before killing himself in a countryside bridleway. The bodies of Michael (51), Ben (seven) and Freya Pedersen (six) were found next to a Saab 900 SE convertible car in the tiny lane at Newton Stacey, near Andover, Hampshire, at 6.15pm on Sunday.
Victims: Police say Pedersen fatally stabbed his children Ben, seven (pictured), and six-year-old Freya before taking his own life
Mr Pederson was a former army sergeant in the Household Cavalry unit that was hit by an IRA nail bomb in Hyde Park in 1982, it was reported in the Daily Telegraph. Last night the children’s maternal grandfather, William Clifford (67), from Buckinghamshire, said outside his daughter Erica’s home in Ashford, Middlesex : ” We are obviously devastated and what we would ask is that you respect our privacy in this matter. ” It is extremely distressing and that is all I want to say.” Detective Superintendent Tony Harris, of Hampshire police, said the ” tragic ” incident happened while Mr Pedersen was on an arranged visit with the two children from his estranged wife. Mr Pedersen, of Chertsey, Surry, had taken the children to visit his father in Andover but failed to return the two youngsters to their mother by the pre-arranged time of 5pm. The bodies were found lying behind the car at 6.15pm by a walker, according to police.
Mr Harris said police were tracing the family of Mr Pedersen, who had two other children from a previous relationship, when his estranged wife raised the alarm at 7pm. He said he believed the deaths happened sometime that afternoon and he was not looking for anyone else as part of the inquiry. Mr Harris said : ” A Home Office pathologist visited the scene and at this time it appears the children suffered fatal stab wounds and Mr Pedersen took his own life shortly afterwards.” “They were visiting relatives in Andover, which is nearby. ” It was the father of Mr Pedersen, the grandfather of the children.” Describing the incident, he said : ” Any scene you go to with children involved is distressing for the officers. We have given them support and they continue to receive support. ” It is very tragic. It’s a dreadful loss of life, one of the most tragic cases I have had to deal with.” The 1982 bomb attack hit as Mr Pedersen’s unit was taking part in a changing of the guard. Four soldiers and seven horses were killed in the explosion, which left Mr Pedersen’s horse Sefton seriously injured Despite 34 separate wounds that required eight hours of surgery, the animal survived and became famous for battling against the odds.
- Cavalryman who survived IRA blast stabs his two children to death (thesun.co.uk)
- Bodies of 2 young children and a man found next to a car on a bridleway in Newton Stacey (thisismoney.co.uk)
- Newton Stacey deaths: Bodies of Michael Pedersen and his 2 young children found near Andover (dailymail.co.uk)
- Bodies Found: Children ‘Stabbed To Death’ (news.sky.com)
- Father stabbed two children to death on bridleway (independent.co.uk)
- Bodies Of Man And Two Children Found (news.sky.com)