Sunday Life

| 14°C Belfast

Heartbreak as father of Newtownabbey murder victim Stacey Knell dies

Death just over a year after young mum Stacey killed in double-murder suicide

Close

Paul Knell (left) carrying his daughter's coffin

Paul Knell (left) carrying his daughter's coffin

Stacey Knell

Stacey Knell

Ken Flanagan

Ken Flanagan

/

Paul Knell (left) carrying his daughter's coffin

A second tragedy has hit the family of a young mum murdered by her partner.

Just over a year after the brutal killing of Stacey Knell, her father Paul, who carried his daughter’s coffin to her final resting place, has also died.

It’s understood Paul Knell, known by those close to him as Toby, was found by his son Nathan, who posted on social media: “Can’t believe it today and what I came home to. Can’t believe I lost my father and also my best friend… Rest in peace daddy, gonna miss my best mate.”

It’s not known how Mr Knell died, but there was an outpouring of support online as the shock news spread.

“Thinking of all the Knell family at this devastating time. What a great man Toby was. Absolutely heartbreaking news,” said one man. “Much love and sympathy to you and the family, my friend,” said another.

Last November, Mr Knell was fined for drink driving. The court was told the father hadn’t touched a drink for more than three years but “turned to alcohol” in the aftermath of his daughter’s killing.

Stacey (30) was stabbed to death just months earlier at the hands of her partner, Kenneth Flanagan (26), who also murdered his mother, Karen McClean (50), before taking his own life.

Close

Stacey Knell

Stacey Knell

Stacey Knell

The violent spree in Newtownabbey not only shocked the local community, but far beyond.

“This was a shocking and horrific double murder of two women inside their own homes — a place where they should have been safe,” said a police officer at the time.

This murder-suicide once again shone a spotlight on domestic violence in Northern Ireland and prompted a major push to bring in new legislation to tackle the problem.

New laws came into force in February, covering sexual, physical and non-violent intimidation.

Close

Ken Flanagan

Ken Flanagan

Ken Flanagan

The Knells didn’t want to comment on the latest family tragedy, but in a statement after Stacey’s murder, they laid bare the enormity of their loss: “When trying to take in the gravity of the loss, you have to realise you aren’t just losing essentially one person, but you’ve been robbed of a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter, an aunt, a cousin, a friend and, most importantly of all, a mother.

“Violence against women and mental health issues are two incredibly important topics which need every bit of support that can come their way.”

Stacey’s father will be buried on Monday after a service at his brother’s home. 

The message on the grandfather’s death notice was a simple one: “Will be sadly missed by his loving family circle. Back in the arms of your loved ones.”


Top Videos



Privacy