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What sort of man is this!

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

☺Carol in Dulwich☺

☺Carol in Dulwich☺ Report 17 Jun 2008 14:30

One who's only thought was to punish his wife.
What drives an individual to carry out an act of such unspeakable brutality against his or her own children? Is it hatred or despair, revenge or a madly possessive love? And what - if anything - can be done to prevent it?

As they headed off for the countryside with their dad Brian, Amy and Owen Philcox were expecting a day of fun.

The youngsters could have no idea the deranged karate expert was already plotting their deaths - driven by a burning anguish over the collapse of his marriage to wife Lyn.

Just hours before he gassed the pair and himself in their car on Father's Day, Philcox phoned Lyn and told her chillingly: "I'll make the papers, just you see. I've left you a present." The 52-year-old then drove Amy, seven, and Owen, three to a remote spot where he put his plan into action.

He had left a crude hoax bomb at the family home. And Lyn's 18-year-old son Ryan, from a previous marriage, was sent a package, which police last night blew up in a controlled explosion.

Philcox had phoned action group Fathers4Justice last week in a "distressed" state asking for advice about child custody.

He had also told neighbours: "I've lost my wife, I'm losing my kids and now I'm going to lose my house. I'd rather burn it down than give it to that bitch."

Philcox and Lyn, who were married for eight years, had been due in court yesterday for a hearing to decide who would get their home in Runcorn, Cheshire, as part of the divorce deal.

As floral tributes to the tragic children piled up outside the red-brick house last night, neighbours claimed Philcox had been violent towards Ryan and said Lyn had become terrified of the man she split from 18 months ago.

One friend added: "He was a b*****d towards her elder son. She could not handle him beating her boy."

Lyn moved in with her mother just a hundred yards from the marital home.

Philcox, chairman of the Federation of English Karate Organisations, had picked up Amy and Owen on Friday as part of their weekend access arrangement.

A neighbour said: "He played football with them, everything seemed fine. But Lyn had been getting hassle from him.

"She was frightened of him. He would go round and bang on her windows."

Distraught Lyn had phoned police when Philcox did not return the children as planned on Saturday.

He had taken them on a steam train ride at Snowdonia that day and was later spotted smoking in his car off the A470 between Maenan and Tal-y-Cafn in the Conwy Valley. A passer-by found the bodies in the back seat of the fume-filled Land Rover at 3pm on Sunday. All three died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

☺Carol in Dulwich☺

☺Carol in Dulwich☺ Report 17 Jun 2008 14:32

How can they do it to their children?

By Samantha Tolley
Whose Four Boys Were Gassed In A Car In Wales By Their Father In 2003

'It's beyond belief that this could happen again.

I just don't know how anyone could sit there with their children and do such a thing.

For another dad from Cheshire to take his kids to Wales and kill them is just unbelievable.

It's brought everything back. Five years on, and I still don't understand how such a thing could happen again.

It's quite simply the worst thing anyone can do to you, taking your kids away from you. Forever.

It doesn't matter what happens between a couple - the children should never be the victims.

I still feel guilt. Sometimes I think if I'd gone back to Keith my boys would still be here. But you can't think like that.

I never stopped Keith from seeing the children, I just never thought he'd do what he did.

It's something you just don't dream anyone would do to their own children. My heart goes out to Evelyn. If she wants to talk or meet then I will because I haven't found talking to psychologists or counsellors has helped me.

I would just put my arms around her and tell her it's not her fault. She will cry for days and weeks and months. It never goes away.

Every anniversary I go back to the spot where they died and sit for hours crying.'

Samantha's four boys had been on an access visit with dad Keith Young, 38, after they separated.

He drove them to a beauty spot where he started a lawnmower in the car. Samantha, 33, called him to find out where they were - and Keith handed his mobile to one of the boys so he could say goodbye.

She was then forced to listen to the screams of Joshua, seven, Thomas, six, Callum, five and three-year-old Daniel as they suffocated in the fumes. Keith also died.

The murders were an appalling act of revenge for Samantha getting pregnant by another man.


Merlin Report 17 Jun 2008 14:33

I would Suggest,not a Man,but an Evil Sadistic Bar-Steward who should have been put down at birth, **M**.


HeatherinLeicestershire Report 17 Jun 2008 14:36

Can't think of any words suitable ............... to take your own life is one thing, to take his childrens, unbelievable, sick and sad.

God bless those little ones xx

Thoughts for their Mum and siblings xx

☺Carol in Dulwich☺

☺Carol in Dulwich☺ Report 17 Jun 2008 14:47

What drives an individual to carry out an act of such unspeakable brutality against his or her own children? Is it hatred or despair, revenge or a madly possessive love? And what - if anything - can be done to prevent it?

The subject has been most widely studied in America, where there are 10 murder-suicides each week. According to Professor Jack Levin, a leading expert from North-Eastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, the most significant factors are family break-up, male sexual jealousy, a need to be in control and extreme possessiveness.

'The profile of a family annihilator is a middle-aged man, a good provider who would appear to neighbours to be a dedicated husband and a devoted father,' Levin said. 'He quite often tends to be quite isolated. He is often profoundly dedicated to his family, but has few friends of his own or a support system out with the family. He will have suffered some prolonged frustration and feelings of inadequacy, but then suffers some catastrophic loss. It is usually financial or the loss of a relationship. He doesn't hate his children, but he often hates his wife and blames her for his miserable life. He feels an overwhelming sense of his own powerlessness. He wants to execute revenge and the motive is almost always to "get even".'

Research from the States shows that family annihilators rarely have a prior criminal record. However, many experts believe there is often a prior pattern of domestic abuse. A report published two years ago in Britain by Women's Aid, called Twenty-nine child homicides, found that, out of 13 families studied, domestic violence was a feature in 11. In one of the other two cases, the mother spoke of her ex-partner's obsessively controlling behaviour.

'To the outside world, these crimes seem to come out of nowhere,' continued Levin. 'The perpetrators have not previously been involved in criminal behaviour. Nor do they tend to be on drugs or drinking heavily when they commit the crime. However, if psychologists had seen them in advance, they would have spotted the warning signs. They would have noticed how the person reacted to things not going his way - the irrational rage and the blaming of others. These people often also regard their partner and children as their own possessions.'

In the majority of cases, if the perpetrator fails in his own suicide, they almost always plead some form of insanity.

But Levin rejected this: 'These are executions. They are never spontaneous. They are well planned and selective. They are not carried out in the heat of the moment or in a fit of rage. They are very methodical and it is often planned out for a long time. There are certain people the killer blames for his problems. If a friend came along, he wouldn't kill him or her. He kills his children to get even with his wife because he blames her and he hates her. The killer feels he has lost control. Annihilating his family is a way of regaining control. It is a methodical, selective murder by a rational, loving father. That's why it is so terrifying.'

Although these cases are more common than child murders by a stranger, they often do not receive the same media coverage. Part of the reason is that the perpetrator often takes his own life as well - meaning there is no court case. But Levin said he also felt people were reluctant to think too much about such abhorrent crimes.

'People don't want to think about it because it makes them feel very vulnerable. When most people think of crime, they typically think of something happening in the street, being mugged or robbed or attacked by a stranger. People don't want to think it is more likely to happen in their own home. It's supposed to be a safe haven, an enclave where we can feel secure.'


MarionfromScotland Report 17 Jun 2008 14:48

Heart breaking,lovely little kid's.


Teresa L.A.

Teresa L.A. Report 17 Jun 2008 14:49

I have cried today. Words don't come to me, just tears.

☺Carol in Dulwich☺

☺Carol in Dulwich☺ Report 17 Jun 2008 15:42



Deanna Report 17 Jun 2008 16:02

It is so easy to think of people who do these things as EVIL... and I do.

BUT, what is it that makes someone do it?
He killed himself too, so there was not the pleasure he would have had had he done something else instead.
One of the neighbours said that he threatened to 'burn the house before he would let that B***h get anything'..... that was definitely an evil thought.... I just think that there has to be some profound pain in anyone who would kill their own children for what to me, and indeed all of us, seems like a stupid reason.
I mean... what the hell has he won??

Please don't attack me for this, I am only trying desperately to find a reason why anyone would do this to themselves and their children.

Deanna X


Bluesavannah Report 17 Jun 2008 16:35

I agree with all Deanna has said.

It is evil what he has done and my thoughts are with the childrens mother (and the family of this man who must be hurting too) but I cant understand what would make someone want to kill their own children and themseves as some sort of act of revenge?

Claire x


Eileen Report 17 Jun 2008 16:42

No attack Deanna - you are quite right - what we have to try to remember is that anyone doing a thing like this is not in their 'right' mind - its not to say that they do not know it is wrong, just that in their minds they have no choice...........a wall beyond which they cannot see....a future in which they cannot realise that they will have no part because of what they are about to do..
Lets also not forget that this man was relatively young, and may have parents and relatives living, as well as his other children. They must be suffering lets spare a thought for them.
The world is sadly not perfect, relationships are not perfect - it is not possible to judge what goes on behind the closed door of someone's mind.
Pity and compassion for all involved
birth name


AnnCardiff Report 17 Jun 2008 16:44

how can someone carry so much hatred in their heart?