Former soldier admits killing family

A former soldier has admitted killing four members of his family at their home in Newcastle.

David Bradley, 41, had originally been charged with the murders of his uncle Peter Purcell, 70, his aunt Josie, also 70, and his cousins Keith, 44, and Glen, 41.

However, he pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility at Newcastle Crown Court on Monday morning, the day that his murder trial was due to begin.

Two psychiatrists had agreed that Bradley, a former Royal Artillery private who served in the first Gulf War, Bosnia and Northern Ireland, was mentally ill at the time of the murders.

All four victims were killed over a five-hour period on the night of July 8 and 9 last year at their home in Benwell Grove in the West End of Newcastle.

Police said that Bradley had "flipped" and began smashing up the house before fighting with Keith. He then shot Peter and Keith before lying in wait for Josie and Glen, who were not home at the time of the first shootings.

Peter, Josie and Keith were shot once in the head, while Glen was shot four times in the head.

After the shootings, Bradley walked to West Road Police Station with a bag containing an arsenal of weapons and handed himself in.

At Monday's hearing, Bradley was remanded in custody in order for psychiatric reports to be prepared.

A further hearing is due to be held on February 26.


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