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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Police inspector traced love rival on police computer before making 'cheating' wife watch as he launched attack on children

-Neighbours claimed he was the 'perfect neighbour'
-Two teenage children were seriously injured in the attack but one managed to scramble to safety
-Armed police scrambled to the house after 15-year-old raised the alarm
-Friends say he was depressed and only had savings for a couple of months
-Killer was well known in the area for his strong views and campaigning

By Andy Dolan, Chris Greenwood and Claire Ellicott

Family: Former policeman Toby Day launched a brutal attack on his wife and three children, all pictured

A disgraced senior police officer stabbed his wife and daughter to death as his life imploded over her suspected affair, it emerged yesterday.

Toby Day slaughtered wife Samantha and six-year-old daughter Genevieve just days after being sacked from the job he loved.

Neighbours claimed the ‘perfect neighbour’ forced his wife to watch as he attempted to kill their children before murdering her and turning the knife on himself.

His two teenage children, Adam, 13, and Kimberley, 15, were seriously injured in the carnage but one managed to scramble to safety and raise the alarm.

Affectionate: But although Toby and Samantha Day look like a loving couple on holiday, he stabbed her to death

Argument: Mr Day, 37, stabbed his 38-year-old wife, Samantha, (the couple are pictured together) a nursery worker, during a fierce row in their semi-detached home

It is understood the attack took place after Day was sacked for using police databases to track a man he suspected was his wife’s lover.

The police inspector spiralled into depression, telling friends he feared losing his partner of 17 years, who was also a former police officer, as well as financial ruin.

Elaine Newton, the next-door neighbour, said: ‘People are saying he made his wife watch as he tried to kill the children before killing her.

‘Sam had lost a lot of weight recently and was really pleased about that. I heard Toby had lost his job a week or so ago and he seemed very distant. He wasn’t his usual bubbly self. You could tell things weren’t quite right.’

Armed police and dog handlers raced to the family home in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, on Thursday afternoon after Kimberley raised the alarm.

She had run to nearby Swallowdale Primary School, where her mother had worked part-time as a nursery teacher after leaving the police to start a family.

Officers discovered a scene of horror at the three-bedroom semi-detached home with Day, 37, Samantha, 38, Genevieve and Adam suffering stab wounds. Both adults and the six-year-old later died, but Adam and Kimberley were taken to hospital where their condition was described as ‘stable’ last night.

The killings have traumatised the local community. Neighbours said the marriage had come under strain after Mrs Day lost weight and Day had been told she was having an affair.

The officer ran the name of the suspected lover through the Police National Computer in a bid to discover information about him.

But Mrs Day found out and informed senior officers of his actions, leading to his suspension and dismissal nine days ago.

As the neighbourhood inspector for Beaumont Leys, Day was a high-profile figure known for his strong views and campaigning.

Escape: Daughter Kimberley ran from the family house, circled in the foreground, to a local school, circled in the background, and raised the alarm

A police officer stands guard over a broken fence in the backyard of the house in Robin Crescent where the three bodies were found

The Days' family house, including the broken fence through which Kimberley is thought to have run for safety

A close friend said Day had been ‘very depressed’ at losing his job and had enough savings for only a ‘couple of months’.

Nigel Keep said the inspector, who refereed local football matches, was usually ‘upbeat’, but had not been the same since losing his job.

He said: ‘When we spoke on Saturday I knew he was very depressed. He had just left the police after 16 years’ service and although the family had some savings he was down.

‘His head was down when he spoke to me and it had been a messy sacking. I didn’t ask details but he said even his bosses were shocked at the way it happened.

‘He did not see it coming and he just didn’t know what to do.

‘He was not the upbeat Toby I knew and he asked me to keep an ear out for any possible employment opportunities. I think the job loss must have triggered it, but you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors.

‘His kids or his wife could have said something that pushed him over the edge when he was in that low frame of mind.’

Mr Keep added that the Days had visited his coffee shop together on Saturday and appeared relatively normal.

Awards: The decorated officer with a certificate honouring his outstanding work. He was dismissed over misuse of police systems last week

Tributes: There was a constant stream of people arriving with memorial flowers throughout yesterday

People pictured laying flowers and balloons at the house in Melton Mowbray. Police are appealing to anyone who spoke to Mr Day

He said the killer admitted losing his job but said the family would ‘get through it together’.

Mr Keep said there was no suggestion that the marriage was in trouble.

Last April, Day and his team were praised by superiors for their ‘quite exceptional achievements during the last 12 months in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour.’

In a ten-year-old posting on Friends Reunited, he described his work as ‘specialising in grim and generally nasty investigations’.

The Days were both Metropolitan Police officers and lived in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, before moving to Leicestershire in 1996.

The policeman had been commended by his force, including on one occasion when he tackled a shoplifter while off-duty with his children at a supermarket.

In 2006, he was commended by his chief constable for helping to change the law after he lobbied MPs and worked with the Home Office to amend road safety laws.

In 2003, he was commended by the chief constable for two off-duty arrests, both carried out while babysitting.

In a macabre twist, earlier this year, Day worked on the case of Iraqi Aram Aziz, 32, who killed his wife and two young children before killing himself.

Police at the scene in Melton Mowbray, where former police inspector Toby Day killed his wife and daughter in a violent murder-suicide

Joy Small, 24, was found dead in her Leicester home along with her three-year-old son Aubarr, and daughter Chanarra, two, in February. Officers went to her flat after discovering the body of Aziz hanging in a country park.

A friend of Day’s parents, former prison workers Richard and Heather, 63, of Stretton, Rutland, said the couple were ‘still in shock and still mourning the loss of a much loved family’. Ivan Stafford, of Leicestershire Police Federation, said Day had been ‘a very capable and respected inspector’.

He said the deaths had had a ‘huge impact’ on the force, and it was ‘important we have time to get to grips with what’s happened’.

Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Hough, who is leading the inquiry, said police were not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.

A spokesman for Leicestershire Police said Day had been sacked on December 1 following a misconduct hearing for ‘misuse of police systems and matters concerning honesty and integrity’.



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