Dad remembers 'kissing his boys' before work and then breaking door down to find 'lifeless son'

The accused can not be named for legal reason.

A grieving dad has spoken of how he "kissed his boys" on his way out to work one morning and the next time he saw his eldest son, the toddler “was lifeless".

The father's voice cracked as he gave evidence at the trial of his former partner in Antrim Crown Court.

As she stood in the dock 30 feet away, he outlined to the jury that after he “kicked the door in,” he ran upstairs and found her in the bedroom with his two sons. “All three of them were lying on the bed and there was blood everywhere, all over the bed,” he told prosecuting QC Charles MacCreanor.

"I think once I saw my son was lifeless and his little brother started making noises, I just collapsed on the floor.” Smartly dressed in a grey suit and opened necked black shirt, he told the jury he “saw a knife on the bed and I think I fell over again” before he was “ushered out and downstairs” where again, “I collapsed on the floor for a period of time". His 41-year-old former partner, a former nurse - who cannot be identified to protect the child who survived and his older half siblings - is on trial accused of murdering her son who was two months short of his third birthday and the attempted murder of his 11-month-old little brother on 2 March 2020.

The jury of six men and six women have already heard harrowing evidence the 41-year-old put multiple morphine pain relief patches on the children before stabbing them numerous times in the bedroom of the family home near Larne.

On Tuesday, the judge told the jury “there is no dispute” that the defendant stabbed the children but rather, “what is in dispute is her mental state at the relevant time".

Tuesday's court heard she left “suicide notes” saying she did not want them to “experience pain” and “I'm taking my kids with me because I can't leave them with their dad”. Both boys sustained stab wounds to their necks and abdomens but the oldest victim died as a result of a neck wound which severed an artery and a vain while his little brother sustained life threatening injuries and had to undergo emergency surgery. It is the Crown case that when their mother stabbed them, she either intended to kill them or at least intended to cause her infant sons really serious harm but the defence argue that at the time, she was suffering from an abnormality of mind which substantially impaired her thinking, decision making and perception of consequences.