PEOPLE have been left reeling in shock and grief following the horrific events in Fordingbridge this week.

As those left behind struggle to come to terms with what happened, those living with the unprecedented event in the normally quiet market town have spoken of a “doting dad” and a “normal, happy family” with “two beautiful girls.”

The Case family had moved to Provost Street from their previous rented home in Sandleheath about eight months ago and according to neighbours had returned from a hol iday in Weymouth just two days before their deaths.

Neighbour Carla Weeks, 23, said: “They were such a nice, normal family. She was such a nice, bubbly neighbour. She absolutely loved her children . They always seemed to be as good as gold – little angels – and for this to happen doesn’t bear thinking about.”

The couple’s youngest daughter, 18-month-old Nereya, is believed to have been due to start at St Aldhelm’s Pre-School in Sandleheath, where Mrs Case worked, shortly. A former col league from the nursery said Mrs Case was greatly loved by all the children there and she and her family had always seemed very happy.

Another neighbour, Jeremy Pentecost, 25, who works at the town’s Co-op store, was just around the corner when the alarm was raised by Mrs Case’s mother, Linda Haskell.

He said: “The first thing we knew was when we heard all the screaming. It’s unreal.”

Andy Case, who went to Ringwood School, and his wife had been married for ten years and a close friend told a The Sun newspaper that whatever drove him to an act of such apparent desperation must have been “catastrophic”.

He said: “He loved Vicky and those kids like life itself. Whatever it was must have been catastrophic to him. He called Phoebe and Nereya his little angels and was always cuddling and kissing Vicky. He was a gentle giant who treated Vicki like a princess.”

St Aldhelm’s Church in Sandleheath and St Mary’s Church in Fordingbridge have both been opened to anyone who wants to light a candle in memory of the family and memorial service will be held at a each on Monday.

Rev Tracy Robinson on behalf of the churches in the Avon Valley Partnership said: “The communities of Fordingbridge, Sandleheath and the surrounding areas are in shock fol lowing this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been affected by what has happened.

“An act of remembrance will be held at both churches to provide a time and space for the community to come together and share their loss.”