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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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‘Derrick needed to be sectioned’ – said his twin

KILLER Derrick Bird was “going mad” and needed to be sectioned, according to the twin he murdered, the inquest heard.

During evidence from the partners of both Bird twins, and David Bird’s daughters, the twins’ relationship was described as one where Bird always relied on David when he had problems.

Linda Mills, the mother of Bird’s two children, told how the couple had met when they were young, had two sons, but had split up years ago and rarely saw each other.

David’s wife, Susan Bird, told how Bird began to “pester” her husband and was “obsessed” with his problems over an investigation into his tax affairs.

Susan’s daughter, Tracey Stephenson, said her father had told him Bird needed to be “sectioned” as he was “going mad.”

All three women gave evidence in statements read to the inquest by Det Insp Lesley Hanson, of Cumbria police.

Tracey Stephenson said her father told her Bird had begun to “confide” in him over his tax problems.

Her father had told her Bird had only been declaring £100 wages but claiming tax credits for low income.

The taxman had found out he had £50,000 to £60,000 squirrelled away and now he was in trouble.

It meant frequent visits from Bird to his brother, “moaning for hours”.

Her statement ended with words her father had told her days before the murder spree.

“Uncle Derrick needed to be sectioned. He was going mad.”

Ms Mills said she first met Bird around 1978, when she was 16 and he was 22, when social life in the countryside area was centred on the Wheatsheaf pub in Kirkland, a place where David Bird and his future wife also visited.

Bird then still lived with his parents, Joe and Mary, but in 1980 Ms Mills fell pregnant, which was not planned, and they moved to a house in Cleator Moor but she did not like the area.

Bird began work as a joiner at Sellafield and in 1983 he bought the house in Rowrah for £6,000. It needed a lot of work on it which he did himself.

Bird had “always” kept guns and had a gun licence with the police coming annually to the house to check his gun cabinet, Ms Mills said.

He was always fit, with no mental issues and did not smoke, take drugs or drink excessively, she said.

She also said he was not violent, adding: “He was the sort of person who ran away from a fight.”

By 1994, after Jamie, the second son had been born, they began to have “differences and arguments” and split up.

Bird “took it quite badly” and took to drink for a couple of weeks but later accepted the break-up.

He would continue to see his sons and hand out pocket money of £10 a week but did not give financial support to her.

She said: “Over the last 16 years I have hardly seen Derrick apart from weddings and birthdays.”

The last time she saw him was at their son Graeme’s wedding when, she said,: “We had a proper, polite conversation.”

The last time they spoke was on May 30, days before the murders.

“It would be the usual, ’Is Jamie in?’ conversation,” she added.


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