Police confirm millionaire did murder family and torch home
Police have confirmed the millionaire businessman Christopher Foster did murder his wife and daughter before setting the family home on fire and killing himself.
Detectives said they had watched CCTV footage of Foster brandishing a rifle and emerging from the property’s horse stables before returning to the house.
The footage also showed him driving a horsebox up to the gates of the mansion, then getting out and shooting the tyres, in an attempt to stop the emergency services from entering the grounds.
It is thought Foster had suffered a breakdown, following the failure of his business, leaving him £2 million in debt. It seems instead of giving the property over to creditors to relieve the family debts, Foster decided to kill his family and torch their home.
Police have pieced together the events of that night and say after the family returned home from a bank holiday barbecue, the couple’s 15-year-old daughter Kirstie chatted online to friends until 1am. Foster’s wife, Jill and daughter Kirstie went to bed, leaving the troubled Foster stewing over the downfall of his company, Ulva Ltd.
Within three hours, Foster had shot both his wife and daughter with a .22 calibre rifle he owned. He also shot the family’s pets, including three horses and four dogs before parking the horsebox in front of the mansion gates and scattering petrol through the outbuildings to accelerate the fire he then started.
Once Foster set fire to the house, he is thought to have returned to the bodies of his family, when he shot himself.
Nearby neighbours called the emergency services around 5am when they heard Foster’s four cars explode in the garage, after being engulfed by flames.
The third body is believed to be that of daughter Kirstie, however she has yet to be formally identified.
Det Supt Jon Groves wrote off theories that the family had been murdered by gangsters and confirmed they were not searching for anyone else in connection with the arson attack.
Mr Groves commented: ‘This is a very complex and unusual case and around 100 officers and staff have been working hard to establish the circumstances leading up to the fire.’
He added: ‘The crime scene that greeted fire crews and police was ‘particularly difficult’, adding: ‘We’ve carried out painstaking work. It’s not pleasant work’.