Hadlow suspect Googled about murder on night before he attacked neighbours
by Andy Tong | 13th March 2019
THE man accused of a double murder in Hadlow last year had searched on Google to find out ‘how long for murder?’ prior to the multiple stabbing.
Jack Ralph, 28, appeared in Maidstone Crown Court yesterday [Tuesday] accused of the murders of Margaret Harris, 78, and her daughter Sharon, 55.
He is also standing trial for the attempted murder of Mrs Harris’s husband David, 76.
The tragedy took place at around 7.30am on September 29 when Ralph attacked his neighbours on Carpenters Lane ‘in a blind rage’.
The court heard that the chef, who had been living next door to the victims for 18 years, accosted them at their back door and attacked them with a kitchen knife.
Mrs Harris was stabbed three times in the neck and her daughter suffered a fatal chest wound. They were found in the hallway, and both had died at the scene.
Mr Harris opened the door and tried to protect his family with a rolling pin. He suffered four wounds to his neck, ear, back and forearm.
Jurors were told that Mr Harris suffered a life-threatening neck injury that would have proved fatal if the blade had gone 1mm deeper.
'I’m covered in blood everywhere, all over the floor and everything. I think my wife and daughter might be dead'
He was able to call 999 before collapsing in his living room. He also suffered a heart attack.
Ralph admitted responsibilty for all three charges but denies murder on grounds of insanity.
He had been diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2017 and was taking anti-psychotic medication – including a dose half an hour before the incident.
The prosecution accepts his responsibility was diminished but maintain he was aware what he was doing was wrong.
Ralph, who described himself as ‘a strong guy’ fully trained in jujitsu, was found by police sitting on a sofa in his living room with his hands above his head.
He later told them he was ‘in full regret’ but added he had been ‘in a blind rage’.
“I blacked out,” he said. “I don’t know what came over me.” But his mobile phone showed that he had conducted an internet search of ‘how long for murder’ at 10.30pm the previous evening.
A transcript of Mr Harris’s call revealed he had said: “We have all been stabbed, stabbed by a knife. We just answered the door.
“Jack Ralph has attacked three of us - my wife, my daughter and myself. Those alive and those dead, I don’t know.
“I’m lying on the floor, I have got blood everywhere. He had a big knife. He lives next door. He stabbed me in the neck.
'We’ve always got on well together. We had a perfect relationship, no problems at all'
“I don’t know what’s happened to my wife and my daughter. I don’t know whether they are dead or alive or what.
“I’m covered in blood everywhere, all over the floor and everything. I think my wife and daughter might be dead.”
Mr Harris later told police there had been no problems between his family, saying: “We’ve always got on well together. We had a perfect relationship, no problems at all.”
He said Ralph would have ‘a laugh and a joke’ with his daughter, and Mrs Harris would talk to Ralph ‘a hell of a lot about all sorts of things’.
In his police statement, Mr Harris said: “He looked at us and I thought ‘What’s wrong with you Jack?’, then it comes, it’s like a big kitchen knife behind his back.
“He just stood there looking at me. Next minute he tries to attack me. I managed to get back inside after being stabbed.
“My daughter was holding the door and he was trying to reach around the door to stab her.
“Mr Harris described how they tried to shut the door on Ralph ‘as hard as they could’.
He said: “I ran to get the rolling pin to try and hit him or something but he kept lashing out with the knife.
“I literally fell to the floor. Blood kept coming out of me. My wife came down the stairs, got stabbed, they were both lying by the back door.”