A FATHER stabbed his four-year-old son to death to get back at his wife for having an affair, a court heard.
Christopher Hawkins went on trial at Leeds Crown Court yesterday accused of murdering Ryan Hawkins at his home on September 23 last year.
Hawkins, 47, of Royd Street, Slaithwaite, is also accused of trying to murder his 14-year-old daughter, Donna.
He denies both charges.
Opening the prosecution’s case Simon Myerson QC said Hawkins told his daughter: “I’ve got to kill Ryan now” after stabbing her at least 13 times across the body, arms, legs and face.
The jury of seven women and five men were told that Hawkins then stabbed his son at least nine times and with such force that he damaged the youngster’s liver and spleen.
The court was told that Hawkins and his wife, Valerie, had separated earlier in the year after she told him she no longer loved him.
He later discovered that she had begun an affair with a taxi driver she met at the cab firm where she worked while they were still living together.
“The defendant was extremely unhappy about Valerie’s relationship,” Mr Myerson said.
“Here is a man who took out his anger and his grievances on other people.”
On the weekend of September 23, Ryan, who had just celebrated his fourth birthday, had been staying at his father’s house in Royd Street.
When Donna arrived to pick up her brother as arranged, she found that the little boy had wet himself and changed him.
As she tried to leave, she found the front door was locked.
Hawkins apologised before stabbing his daughter at least 13 times with a knife, causing multiple injuries to her face, chest, abdomen, arm and thigh.
Hawkins then said he was going to kill Ryan.
“Donna saw the knife raised in his hand and he said ’I’ve got to kill Ryan now’,” Mr Myerson said.
“Donna managed to unlock the front door and escape, carrying her phone.
“It is the prosecution’s case that, as she’s escaping into the street, the defendant is in the process of killing her brother, his son.”
Mr Myerson told the court Hawkins had confessed in a police van after his arrest, saying: “I will commit suicide for what I have done. I stabbed my son because my wife was having an affair and I took it out on them. I admit I stabbed them. Are they OK?”
He added that Hawkins had written a note suggesting he and Ryan were going to die on September 16, his son’s birthday.
Mr Myerson said Hawkins had claimed in a letter he had been forced to attack his children by “screaming” voices in his head.
He added that Hawkins said he had heard “people talking to him in the corners of the walls for the last four months” and he had been unable to remember the attacks.
But Mr Myerson said: “That action is simply dishonest. It was wrong and he knew it was wrong.
He added: “When he stabbed his children he knew what he was doing. He meant to do it and he could have stopped himself.
“He simply lost his temper. He did what he wanted to do, he didn’t think about Ryan or Donna; he only thought about getting back at her” (his wife).
Mr Myerson also said that Hawkins had been a violent, heavy drinker who “took his anger and grievances out on other people”.
He said Mrs Hawkins had complained about her husband during their time together.
He had publicly accused her of affairs and had sent trick text messages to catch her out.
The court also heard Hawkins had confessed to stabbing his children to a friend in The Silent Woman pub, which he and his wife once managed.
Sheet metal worker Hawkins sat in the dock wearing glasses, a dark suit and tie and a striped shirt.
The case continues.