Man who won £40k in the lottery killed his two sons, aged 11 and five, and himself and tried to kill his estranged wife after she discovered he had spent cash on prostitutes, inquest hears
A lottery winner stabbed his estranged wife when she found out he'd spent the money on prostitutes and a car, before killing himself and his two young sons, an inquest has heard.
David Stokes, 43, was found with a knife in his chest at his semi-detached home in Hinckley, Leicestershire, after barricading himself inside the property with his family in the early hours of November 2, 2016.
His sons Adam, 11, and five-year-old Matthew were also found dead, though a post-mortem failed to shed light on how they were killed.
They were found together in a bed in the home, holding hands and a forensic pathologist suggested they had been strangled.
Stokes' wife and the children's mother, Sally Stokes, was held hostage but managed to escape with serious stab injuries following a five-hour police stand-off at the family home.
Today, she told an inquest at Loughborough Coroner's Court how Stokes had hit her with a rolling pin and tried to smother her before stabbing her in her side.
Mrs Stokes described her relationship with her husband as abusive and added that he had been on the internet looking at sites for escorts and date rape drugs before holding the family hostage.
The hearing was told Stokes had previously won £40,000 on the lottery and spent the winnings on shares and a new car, with his wife also finding evidence of him paying for prostitutes.
He had been married to his wife, a pub assistant manager, since 2011 but their relationship deteriorated.
The 47-year-old gave harrowing evidence to the hearing about the night she was attacked, saying she didn't think the 'reality' of their separation 'had actually hit him'.
Mrs Stokes saw internet searches that showed her husband had been searching for date rape drugs just two days after the couple had been to a Halloween party together and she'd woken up the following morning feeling 'spaced out'.
A note that was later found addressed to Mrs Stokes which read: 'You pushed too much to see what I had done. If you had left it, we would have been happy forever.'