Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Children had multiple stab wounds

The two children killed by their father, IRA bomb survivor Michael Pedersen, died as a result of multiple stab wounds, police have revealed

Two children killed by their IRA bomb survivor father suffered multiple stab wounds, according to police.

The bodies of Michael Pedersen, 51, his seven-year-old son, Ben, and daughter, Freya, six, were found next to a Saab 900SE convertible car in a tiny lane in Newton Stacey, near Andover, Hampshire, on Sunday.

Mr Pedersen, a former Army sergeant in the Household Cavalry unit that was hit by an IRA nail bomb in London's Hyde Park in 1982, had recently split from his wife, Erica, who lives in Ashford, Middlesex.

Post-mortem examinations carried out on the two children showed that they died of stab wounds, according to Hampshire Police. A force spokesman said Mr Pedersen died as a result of a number of stab wounds to the chest.

Mr Pedersen, who had recently been living in Chertsey, Surrey, had taken the children to visit his father in Andover but failed to return them to their mother by the pre-arranged time of 5pm on Sunday. Their bodies were found behind the car at 6.15pm by a walker, according to police.

Mr Harris said police were tracing the family of Mr Pedersen, who had two other children from a previous relationship, when his estranged wife raised the alarm at 7pm.

The children's maternal grandfather, William Clifford, 67, from Buckinghamshire, said the family was "extremely distressed" by the deaths.

Mr Pedersen wrote on Facebook on August 31 that he had split from 43-year-old Erica, his second wife, with whom he ran a haulage business called High Road Logistics. He said: "Worst day of my life. Sadly have split with Erica am absolutely distraught."

The 1982 bomb attack hit as Mr Pedersen's unit was taking part in a changing of the guard ceremony. Four soldiers and seven horses were killed in the explosion, which left Mr Pedersen's horse, Sefton, seriously injured.

Despite 34 separate wounds which required eight hours of surgery, the animal survived and became famous for battling against the odds. Sefton became a symbol of the struggle against the IRA and won the Horse of the Year, a prize Mr Pedersen picked up on his behalf.

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