Ponta de São Lourenço, Madeira island

Father butchers 10-year-old son and ex-partner before throwing himself off cliff in Madeira

A 48-year-old man butchered his 10-year-old son and estranged partner in an apartment in Madeira yesterday before driving 40kms to commit suicide by leaping off the cliffside at Ponta de São Lourenço.

The incident has caused shockwaves on the island – and led to the parents/ grandparents of the victims being hospitalised.

As reports explain, when they first heard of the tragedy, they believed their grandson was still alive.

The horror played out in the context of the mother and child arriving at the apartment they had left three weeks previously to pick up some personal items.

Gregório Silva Moniz – described as a “very stressed individual who believed people treated him badly because he was deaf”- attacked both with a knife, leaving them with their throats cut, in the apartment.

Says Correio da Manhã, ‘there are many questions’ still open – not least how the killer was able to drive such a distance – and kill himself – with police ostensibly ‘on his tail’.

A statement from the dead child’s primary school has said: “We don’t have the words to express the grief and sadness we feel over the death of our dear former student. May there be peace, comfort, courage and love in this moment of sadness and mourning”.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com