herald

Monday 5 December 2016

Girl's screams as mother is knifed to death by dad

South African couple Cornelius and Angelique Billing
South African couple Cornelius and Angelique Billing

A firefighter yesterday described how he saw a five-year-old girl screaming "help, help, help my mom" as she stood beside her dying 27-year-old mother, who had just sustained multiple stab wounds, in the street.

Clare Fire Service member Gerry O'Halloran was giving evidence into the deaths of South African married couple Angelique Billing and Cornelius Billing (44) in the Clare village of Kildysart on December 17 last.

A jury at the inquest court in Ennis yesterday returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence that Mrs Billing died from stab wounds to the neck and chest and Mr Billing died from a stab wound to the neck.

Verdict

The jury returned the verdict after County Coroner Isobel O'Dea said that there was no evidence to support a verdict of suicide in either case

Asst State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis said that Mrs Billing "had received a multiplicity of stab wounds".

"In addition, there was minor blunt force trauma to the head and to the hands indicating that she had been involved in a scuffle," he said.

Dr Curtis said that Cornelius Billing died from a large deep wound to the neck and also had defensive type injuries on his right hand.

Dr Curtis also confirmed that he saw a boning knife at the couple's apartment, the tip of which was bent back.

The two Billing daughters witnessed the double killing and Garda John Cahill said that the girls, aged five and three, were "hysterical" when he arrived at the Billing apartment.

Moments earlier, Garda Cahill said that he first came across Angelique covered in blood staggering in the street.

Garda Cahill left Ms Billing in the care of Fire Service staff and was aware that there was another young sister living at the address.

Arriving there, Gda Cahill said that he was met by Cornelius, who "had a long black handled kitchen knife in his right hand and the knife was covered in blood".

Gda Cahill said: "I asked him to drop the knife and he did so on the third instruction."

The Garda said that he was about to caution Mr Billing when he noticed that he too was injured.

The garda said that he asked Mr Billing a number of times what happened and he eventually replied "Domestic dispute. She stabbed me. I stabbed her."

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