Man remanded over children's deaths


A general view of Empire Square in Southwark

A man has been remanded in custody accused of murdering his two young children.

Jean Francis Say, 61, is suspected of killing the youngsters after his ex-wife left them with him for the weekend.

The bodies of Regina, 10, and Rolls, eight, were found at Say’s flat in Empire Square, Southwark, south London, on Sunday.

It is understood both had suffered multiple stab wounds and police officers were confronted with a “horrific” scene. Say’s wife, believed to be known as Antoinette, dialled 999 after he allegedly told her what he had done.

Say, who is from the Ivory Coast, appeared before Camberwell Magistrates’ Court by video link from Walworth police station. Wearing a white long-sleeved police issue T-shirt, the retired concierge sat with his arms folded for the five-minute hearing.

Speaking through a French interpreter, he confirmed his name, address and other personal details. Magistrates remanded him in custody and ordered him to appear before the Old Bailey on Tuesday. A full hearing will take place on May 23.

Police were called to the modern block of flats in Empire Square at about 8.15am. They found the children and called for paramedics. The victims were pronounced dead at the scene.

Shaven-headed Say was arrested in the flat. At least one knife has been recovered by police. Sources close to the inquiry said Say has made no comment in police interviews.

He remains in custody, where he is believed to be on suicide watch after threatening to harm himself.

One detective said the children’s mother has been left deeply traumatised by the deaths and they are waiting to speak to her. A key line of inquiry will be to determine what sparked the sudden violent attacks.

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