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Stokes family

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Matthew Stokes and his brother Adam were found dead at their home in Hinckley

A woman says she was locked in a house, smothered and stabbed by her husband, who was found dead with their two sons.

David Stokes, 43, and children Adam, 11, and Matthew, five, were discovered in their home on Welwyn Road, Hinckley, Leicestershire, on 2 November 2016.

The boys were found dead under a quilt in the same bed and holding hands.

An inquest heard that, hours before the bodies were discovered, Mr Stokes locked Sally Stokes in the house sparking a stand-off with police.

Mrs Stokes told Rutland & North Leicestershire Coroner’s Court she was stabbed before she managed to escape.

Mr Stokes was later found dead from a single stab wound.

A medical cause of death for both boys has been given as “unascertained” but a pathologist said it could have been a result of drowning or pressure to the neck.

Dr Frances Hollingbury added that “it is likely they were unconscious or already dead when they were positioned where they were found”.

Mrs Stokes told the court she and Mr Stokes had been married since 2011 and separated three months before the deaths.

In addition to problems in the marriage, Mrs Stokes said she discovered Mr Stokes had searched online for escorts and a date rape drug.

She said she confronted him about this on 1 November, but the situation at the time was “calm” and she left just after 18:00 GMT.

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Sally Stokes, arriving at the inquest earlier, said David Stokes tried to smother her with a pillow

Mrs Stokes told the court she returned at about 21:15 and, in the hours that followed, Mr Stokes locked her in the house, hit her on the back of the head with a rolling pin and tried to smother her with a pillow.

She said she got to the back garden and screamed for help before Mr Stokes hit her head against a wall.

The inquest was told police were called and there were regular phone calls between negotiators and Mr Stokes before he stabbed her and she ran out into the street.

She said: “I felt a bump in my back, felt the warmth of blood, then I realised he’d stabbed me.

“The look on his face was like satisfaction. I’ll never forget it – as though he’d won.”

Mrs Stokes was taken to hospital and told the following day about her sons and that Mr Stokes had killed himself.

She was ruled out of the investigation as a suspect by police, the inquest heard.

Finishing her evidence, Mrs Stokes said she felt police acted in the right way during the stand-off.

“If police had forced the situation, I wouldn’t be here,” she said.

The inquest also heard Mr Stokes filmed a video of himself with the boys at about 19:00 on 1 November and that is the last time the boys are known to have been alive.

The inquest continues.

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