'Help! My daddy's trying to hurt me'


A girl of six ran for her life as her policeman father launched a ferocious attack on his family.

Terrified Jessica Bluestone banged on a neighbour's door and screamed: 'Help, help! My daddy is trying to hurt me!'

Police who answered the neighbour's 999 call found scenes of appalling carnage in their colleague's home.

PC Karl Bluestone, 36, had gone berserk with a claw hammer. His three-year-old son Henry lay dead at the foot of the stairs. In the blood-spattered kitchen was the body of 31-year-old Jill Bluestone.

Upstairs, stunned officers found baby Chandler, 18 months, dying in his cot. The couple's oldest child, Jack, seven, was slumped in a pool of blood with serious head wounds. Finally, police searching the house in Gravesend, Kent, found PC Bluestone dead in the garage. He had hanged himself from the door.

Yesterday his colleagues and neighbours were struggling to understand what drove a 'popular and decent' officer to such an act of violence on Tuesday night. Neighbours said the burly policeman had a stormy relationship with his accountant wife, and there were suggestions that both were having affairs.

There were also reports that PC Bluestone had been suffering from depression and that the £135,000 semi-detached home was put on the market two months ago. But neighbours all agreed that he had been devoted to his children. Family friend Peter Snelling, 59, said: 'I've known Karl since he was a boy and I can't believe it.

'He was was a really laid-back character and he was always with his children. He would even take the little ones with him when he went to pick up the older children from school.

'I last saw him on Friday. I waved to him in the street and he seemed perfectly all right then. God knows what happened.'

Another neighbour said: 'Henry went to the same playgroup as my daughter. He was always laughing and smiling - a very happy little boy.'

Two months ago, PC Bluestone took Henry to a police 'outreach' event in Gravesend to break down barriers between police and children. During the visit excited children, including Henry, tried on police uniforms.

PC Bluestone told a local newspaper: 'It's important to reach kids early enough and impress upon them in a positive way the difference between right and wrong.'

But last night, it began to emerge that the happy family facade was a sham. The couple had been married for seven years - it was PC Bluestone's second marriage - but he was said to have been having an affair with a woman police colleague.

Mrs Bluestone was reported to have issued an ultimatum: 'Finish with her or get out', and he feared he would lose his children and his home.

A source said: 'Karl tried to stop the affair, but he couldn't. He had fallen head over heels in love.

'His wife made it clear she was not prepared to have him in the house unless he stopped the affair. A lot of people at Gravesend police station knew what was going on but no one wanted to get involved in his messy personal life.

'He had been seeing other women before, but I'm not sure if his wife knew about them. This time, he told a few of his colleagues that they had had a couple of blazing rows and she had given him a final warning.'

There were also suggestions that Mrs Bluestone told her husband she planned to leave him for another man and take the children.

Kent police spokesman Mark Pugash said there had been no indication that such savage violence was about to flare. PC Bluestone, who had been with the force for 14 years, worked a normal day shift on Tuesday.

Mr Pugash said: 'The people who were working with him will be asking themselves, "Is there anything I could have done, that could have tipped us off?" But there was nothing about his behaviour to suggest this.'

PC Bluestone's parents, Greg and Christine, cut short a holiday visiting their youngest daughter in the South of France when they heard the news. The couple lived in the next road to their son. The two gardens back on to each other.

They issued a short statement, saying: 'We love our son. He was a man devoted to his children, dedicated to his job and filled with love for his wife.'

Mrs Bluestone, originally from Cleveland, was a senior manager in charge of the policy and performance unit of Basildon District Council in Essex.

Her blue Mitsubishi Shogun, with the personalised number plate J111 BLU, stood on the front drive as forensic experts moved through the house, trying to establish the order in which PC Bluestone attacked his family.

All the youngsters were wearing their pyjamas.

Last night, Jack was said to be in a stable condition in King's College Hospital, London. Jessica was released from hospital in Dartford after treatment for minor injuries. She was being looked after by family friends.

Police also interviewed a girl who worked as the Bluestones' nanny. She had been at the house until 6pm on Tuesday.

Lee Watts, 43, who lives opposite the Bluestones, said: 'I had heard them row before when I was walking past. The front door was open and it was a real shouting match.'

Another neighbour, Ian Collins, 50, said: 'Jill worked very long hours, often leaving home at 7am.

'People had been saying they were having problems because they could rarely be together.'

PC Bluestone's former wife Julie Green and their 12-year-old daughter Samantha live in the nearby village of Istead Rise.

Mrs Green was too upset to speak about the killings, but her husband Aaron said: 'We're in a state of shock. I can't imagine what happened to make him do this.

'I am now just protecting my daughter, having had to wake her this morning to tell her that Daddy is dead.'

PC Bluestone worked with a tactical police unit which specialised in combating rural crime like burglaries and vandalism.

His friends and colleagues on the Kent force included Detective Constable Mick Easton, who appeared in the ITV series Survivor.

Mr Easton, now a civilian support worker, said: 'It really was a great shock. He was a great bloke and he was very popular. It is a very sad loss.'

Colleagues of Mrs Bluestone also paid tribute to her. Basildon Council chief executive John Robb said: 'We're all deeply shocked and our thoughts are with the children and Jill's parents. She was every inch a professional, very hard-working and full of integrity.'

Mrs Bluestone's parents, joiner Alan Skerry and his wife Judith, were too upset to talk about the tragedy as they left their home in Great Ayton, near Middlesbrough, to drive south.

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