THE killer who stabbed to death a Bradley mum-of-four spent his last weeks amassing a deadly arsenal on the internet.
Argentinean-born Sebastian Mercante, has been identified as the 40-year-old who jetted in from Tenerife after his relationship with Claire Tootill broke down.
Reportedly a former member of the French Foreign Legion, the body builder stabbed to death his ex-partner’s mother, Carol Berry, 66, at her Bradley Road home on Friday evening.
He also left her son Andrew Fields, 36, hospitalised suffering knife wounds to his hands and neck.
It is thought Andrew was hurt trying to defend his mother.
Mercante, who had been living in Los Cristianos in Tenerife, then drove 30 miles to Hanover Street, Manchester where he committed suicide.
He flung himself from the top of a seven-floor multi-storey car park after writing “F*** U Claire” in blood on the wall.
Bloodstains were visible on the railings from where he jumped.
Transactions on the internet auction site eBay seen by The Examiner show that Mercante had begun amassing a collection of material that could be used in a violent attack.
On January 31, he purchased a serrated knife, the “Blackhawk CDQ Mark 1” from the “Sexy Weapon Co”.
The vendor who sold him the knife gave Mercante feedback on the site writing: “If this eBayer was my boss I’d respect him. A great example to the community.”
On February 13 the killer also bought a set of black tactical police gloves intended for use with riot armour.
Before that he had purchased a “riggers belt” designed by the same company which made the knife, from a man who also sells the company’s gun holsters.
Many of the transactions on his internet account can no longer be viewed, but several are from vendors specialising in “survival” style equipment.
Other reports said Mercante had with him a “torture kit” consisting of a knife, a blunt instrument and cable ties.
Other vendors he used specialised in film and TV collectibles including models and figurines.
His MySpace account revealed he was a rock music fan and counted one of his favourite genres as “industrial”.
His intended target may have been Mrs Berry’s daughter, Claire, who had reportedly informed Mercante she wanted a divorce. The couple had married in 2005 a year after Claire had emigrated to Spain. She left the UK on January 19, 2004.
A biology graduate, she had been a pupil at Hepworth Junior & Infant School and then attended Holmfirth High School for a short time in 1990.
She also attended Caistor Grammar School in Lincolnshire before going on to gain her degree at Manchester Metropolitan University from 1998 to 2003.
It was after her studies she moved to Spain and met and married Mercante.
On a website, she said: “After completing my biology degree in 2003 I moved out here to Spain.
“Met a wonderful Argentine fella (Sebastian) who’s now my husband.
“He’s teaching me Spanish. Working as a departmental manager for an imports company in Tenerife. Generally having a super time not using my education in any way what-so-ever!”
Mercante was born in Argentina to an Italian father and that part of the family originated in Northern Italy.
West Yorkshire Police initially treated the murder as a “targeted” and “domestic-related” attack after being called to the Bradley Road scene at 6.39pm on Friday.
A long stretch of Bradley Road near St Thomas’s Gardens was cordoned off and paramedics were called to the Berry family home.
In the very early hours of Saturday the discovery of Mercante’s body was made in Hanover Street, Manchester.
West Yorkshire officers liaised with colleagues there and later confirmed that he was known to them.
On Saturday, they confirmed that the investigation was at an end and they were no longer looking for anyone else in connection with the killing.
Shocked onlookers at Bradley Road on Friday saw Carol Berry’s son, Andrew Fields, being treated with a pressure pad on his neck outside the house before being taken away in an ambulance.
He also suffered wounds to his hands consistent with defending himself or grappling with Mercante to protect his mother.
He is currently in hospital but his wounds are thought not to be life threatening.
Police hope to open inquests on both Mrs Berry and Mercante within the next few days.
CLAIRE Tootill attended Holmfirth High School in 1990.
With an aptitude for the sciences she went on to study at Manchester Metropolitan University gaining a degree in biology.
She then moved to Tenerife where she met and married Argentinian-born Seb Mercante.
Neighbours in Bradley Road said Carol Berry had "lived for her family" and Claire would be devastated by the loss.
Carol Berry was a mother of four. Her children are Claire, Andrew Fields and two sons, believed to be Justin Tootill and Matthew Tootill.