The British man believed to have stabbed his partner and her two daughters to death may have spent up to two days in a flat on Boschetti’s Steps alone with their bodies before killing himself, the Coroner’s Court heard yesterday.
In its fourth and final day of live evidence, the inquest heard from the Senior Investigating Officer in the case, Detective Chief Inspector Wayne Tunbridge, his deputy Detective Inspector Roy Perez and Head of Forensics Detective Sergeant Adam Bautista.
The officers took the court step-by-step through the investigation from how they processed the scene at 2 Boschetti’s Steps to liaising with pathologists and scientists in the UK and finally to handing over the case to the Coroner.
The court was also shown video footage of the flat as it is today, with police pointing out the specific area in which each body was found. A timeline of events leading up to the discovery of the four bodies was provided by Detective Inspector Perez.
The inquest heard earlier this week that Anarda De La Caridad Perez Friman, a 37-year old Spanish woman of Cuban descent, died from a stab wound to the heart likely sustained while she was lying in bed. She also had deep defensive wounds on her arms “as if she was fighting someone off”, the court heard.
Her body was found in the children’s bedroom with a pillow partially covering her face.
Her daughters, Amanda Kristofferson Perez, a four-year old child from a previous relationship, and six week old Eve Shannon Perez also died from stab wounds through the heart. The children were found in the front room. Amanda was laying face-up on a duvet on the floor and Eve was under a duvet on a sofa bed, her face was covered with a bed sheet.
All had been repeatedly stabbed and defensive wounds indicate the mother and toddler had tried to fend off their attacker.
Liverpool born Mr Shannon, a 31-year old habitual user of cannabis and steroids, had sent increasingly disturbing messages to his relatives via WhatsApp in the days leading up to March 30.
He suffered paranoid delusions and thought he was being pursued by Lebanese contract killers threatening to kill him and remove his organs.
Mr Shannon’s body was also in the front room. He had lacerations to his wrist, his leg, his abdomen, his right lower back and a deep cut to his throat that was most likely self inflicted.
The court heard that before the family came to Gibraltar on Thursday March 26, Mr Shannon was seen on CCTV purchasing a small brown-handled knife which cost 1.50 euro from El Corte Chino in Spain.
Mr Shannon then drove the family to Gibraltar in a UK-registered BMW which belonged to his stepfather, Terence Moorhead.
The family was seen walking up Main Street as they made their way to Seekers Property Solutions in Engineer’s Lane. Mr Shannon asked for the WIFI password and used the office microwave to heat up milk for the baby.
Mr Shannon contacted a friend of his stepfather and asked if they could stay at his flat. He agreed as long as the family vacated it by Monday lunchtime.
An estate agent escorted the family to the property at 6pm that evening. The family later made their way to Chandan outside Cornwall’s Centre to buy food.
Mr Shannon exchanged a number of increasingly desperate messages with his parents throughout this time.
The following day neighbours observed a young girl playing in the courtyard along with a dog, they assumed she was flat owner’s daughter so thought nothing of it.
Mr Shannon’s parents had transferred their son some money and he left the flat to purchase a takeaway and a Samsung mobile phone and reload.
Mr Shannon left the flat several times that evening each time he returned with a white plastic carrier bag.
At 3.15am on Saturday March 28, Mr Shannon sent his last text message to his stepfather. It read “Done. Eject now.”
Shortly after neighbours were awoken to the high-pitched screaming of a woman but when they opened their bedroom window the screaming suddenly stopped.
Around half an hour later a little girl was heard screaming but this stopped after a while.
Mr Moorhead continued to send messages to his stepson via WhatsApp, they were ‘read’ but he received no reply.
The last message Mr Shannon read from his stepfather was sent at 6.30am on Monday March 30. The bodies of the two adults and two children were discovered by police at 11.30am that day.
Coroner Charles Pitto is expected to deliver his verdict today.