Found Dead 27th October 2014
Duksha Lad (44) and her daughters, Trisha Lad (19) and Nisha Lad (17) were found dead on 27th October 2014 at home in Blackberry Way, Clayton, Bradford, West Yorkshire.
Ms Lad worked in a clerical capacity for Bradford City Council. Trisha was studying medical biochemistry at the University of Leeds and Nisha had just completed her GCSEs at Thornton Grammar School, which Trisha had also attended.
Jatindra Lad (49), Ms Lad’s husband and the girls’ father, is believed to have murdered them before hanging himself. Lad also worked for Bradford council.
Police have launched a murder investigation, but said they are not looking for anybody else in relation to the deaths. Officers were called to the house after they were contacted by a neighbour who was concerned that they had not seen the family for some time.
Police said early indications suggest the bodies may have been in the property “for some time”.
Neighbours said the family were last seen on Friday when they were celebrating Diwali.
Chris Sampson, head teacher of Thornton Grammar School said the school was “shocked and deeply saddened”.
Jessica Garside, a friend of Trisha, said: “She was so lovely. She always had a bright smile on her face. She was always happy.” She added: “Even when I saw her round school she would always smile and say hello and check I’m all right.” She went on: “She’ll be missed dearly. I see pictures on Facebook of her going out in her uni life and she looks happy and now we don’t know what’s happened to her. I just hope there’s a god out there looking after her.”
Councillor David Green, leader of the local authority, said: “Local people are shocked and saddened by the news of this terrible event and our sympathy goes out to the wider family, friends and neighbours of this family. The husband and wife of the family… both worked for Bradford Council and councillors and employees are very upset after hearing the dreadful news of their deaths. Obviously, it would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage as the investigation into how it happened is continuing, but we would urge anyone who may have any information about this tragedy to contact the police immediately.”
Detective Superintendent Simon Atkinson, from West Yorkshire Police’s Protective Services , said: “This is clearly a significant incident and our investigation will be thorough as we piece together the events that have led to the deaths of a local family. The investigation is at an early stage, and while I do not want to speculate around the circumstances leading to the deaths, I am happy to confirm that we are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident.”
Superintendent Damien Miller said: “Clayton is a close-knit community and I understand that local people will be understandably upset by what has taken place and I would like to reassure people there is no wider danger to members of the public. Additional neighbourhood officers are in the area speaking to people and offering reassurance.”
Note: This report was drawn from reports in the Huffington Post and the Daily Mail.
FOD Comment: As is usual in co-called murder suicides the media have focussed on and provided more information about the presumed killer than about his victims, especially Duksha Lad. We have learned that Ms Lad’s killer was a “watersports fanatic” and chairman of the Friends of Thornton Grammar school, where “his daughters” Nisha and Trisha studied. Once again the police have treated this as a private ‘tragedy’ and have reassured the public that there is no “wider danger” to the public. The comments of Detective Superintendent Simon Atkinson, from West Yorkshire Police’s Protective Services (Crime), were particularly crass. He spoke of the “deaths of a local family” rather than the killing of three women. He called it a “significant incident” rather than an outrage or a dreadful crime. He went on to say “ I am happy (sic) to confirm that we are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident.”
The police really need to do better than this. They should acknowledge that domestic violence – including homicide – is widespread and that threats by abusers to kill both women and their children are far from rare. Many abusers use murders like this to further terrorise their victims. Police should reflect this in their public statements, publicise the national domestic violence helpline number and invite anyone experiencing domestic violence or threats to seek assistance.