In 1984 a director of a Sheffield steel company shot himself dead with a revolver. After the inquest the gun was handed to his son Ian Wood, a Sheffield solicitor who found the revolver handy two years later when he shot his French mistress and her two children.

At his 18-room mansion on SEPTEMBER 21st, 1986, he shot Danielle Lloyd in the back of the head after making love to her. Then he shot her two-year-old daughter Stephanie and her five-year-old son Christopher and disappeared, laying a false trail and taking £20,000 of his clients’ money with him.

A week later he turned up on TV: a news bulletin showed him perched on a gargoyle at Amiens Cathedral in France, threatening to jump! Talked down by police and a priest and arrested, he was extradited to Britain to face trial for murder.

Meanwhile Danielle Lloyd’s son had miraculously survived being shot and bludgeoned by her lover who had left him for dead.

At his trial he denied Danielle’s murder but admitted manslaughter. He also admitted the murder of Stephanie and the attempted murder of Christopher.

The prosecutor told the jury: “He says he and Danielle entered into a suicide pact and that is why he shot her. He claims that although he shot her dead, he should not be convicted of her murder because when he shot her he did so as a result of her agreement that he should first shoot Danielle and her children, then himself.”

The law held that when one person killed another in a suicide pact and survived, he should not be convicted of murder but of manslaughter. “But that is only if there is a genuine suicide pact. In this case it means that the defendant has to prove that at the time there was a genuine suicide pact and that he had a genuine intention to kill himself.”

In a statement Wood had told the police: “We went upstairs and made love for the last time. The children were downstairs…I used a cushion to stop the noise and shot her…I went downstairs for Stephanie. I took her up to the bedroom to play ‘hidey-ho.’ I covered her head and shot her twice. At first she was looking straight at me. Her eyes were open. I had to be sure she was dead, so I closed my eyes and shot her again.

“Then I went down to Christopher who was eating a tomato salad. I told him I had a surprise for him and to close his eyes and not to peep. I told him to lie down on the floor and I put a towel over his head and shot twice. I went down to the kitchen and then went upstairs to pack. As I went past the bathroom I heard a low moan. He was not dead. I picked up a thick pole and hit him four or five times until the stick broke.”

Convicted on all charges, Wood was given two concurrent life sentences for murder.