Father accused of murdering wife and two children 'had been urged to get help'

Image source, Liverpool Echo
Image caption,
Areena Saeed, pictured with Sami Salem, and children Shadia Salem, seven, and Rami Saeed, four

A man accused of murdering his wife and two children in Beatle John Lennon's former flat in Liverpool had started mental health treatment 10 days before their deaths, a jury has been told.

Areena Saeed, 30, and their children Shadia Salem, seven, and four-year-old Rami Saeed, were found at a flat in Falkner Street, Toxteth on 30 May.

Sami Salem, 30, denies murdering them.

His brother told Liverpool Crown Court he had urged him to seek help after saying he had had feelings of paranoia.

Image source, Eleanor Barlow/ PA
Image caption,
The flat is regularly visited by Beatles fans on tours of the city

The court heard on Thursday that Ms Saeed had been suffocated while the two children had drowned.

Mr Salem denies murder but admits killing them on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

He was found collapsed by the bed, jurors heard.

He told emergency services he had taken an overdose, doused the flat in petrol and left the gas on in the hope of it would burn down.

Mr Salem said he killed his family, the court heard.

'Marital tension'

His younger brother Nabil Salem wept as he described his brother's health problems and how he had urged him to seek help.

He said he accompanied his brother to the Royal Liverpool University Hospital where he saw the crisis mental health team and was given medication.

Text messages between Salem and his wife indicated tension in the marriage,

He continually refused to switch on the internet to enable her to contact relatives in her native Yemen, the prosecution said.

The trial continues.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
John Lennon lived in the flat shortly after he married his first wife Cynthia

The flat in Liverpool's Georgian Quarter is regularly visited by Beatles fans on tours of the city.

It was once owned by the band's manager, Brian Epstein, and Lennon lived there with his first wife Cynthia shortly after they married in 1962.

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