A FATHER carried out a campaign of harassment, terrorising his ex-wife and his daughters before a fatal attack on his mother-in-law, an inquest heard.

Kieren Lynch, 50, of Tewkes Road, Canvey, had been due to appear in court for criminal damage after smashing plant pots outside his ex-wife Susan’s home armed with a claw hammer.

Kieren and Susan had been married for 25 years but the relationship had deteriorated due to Kieren’s cocaine addiction, a court heard.

Giving evidence at an inquest hearing yesterday, Susan said: “He became involved in using cocaine on a regular basis and he had suffered from depression for a few years.

“It added confidence to him but on the cocaine he became a monstrous person. He became quite aggressive and violent.”

Susan described one incident where he held a knife to her and said he frequently threatened her. She told the court the incident with the pots led to her calling the police who then arrested him. Lynch was charged with criminal damage and he appeared at Southend Magistrates’ Court where he denied the offence. He was bailed under conditions that he did not contact Susan or visit her address.

Despite this, the court heard Kieren bombarded Susan and her 19-year-old daughter with texts and calls and breached his bail by visiting the address on numerous occasions.

She said: “I was terrified. I didn’t like my children to be home alone - it was an awful time. I felt like he was upping the ante in what he was doing. I reported each incident but he wasn’t arrested. I couldn’t understand why the police had not gone to his house or his work and arrested him and why we had to keep going through this.”

His daughter Molly also gave evidence before a jury and told the court she felt very protective of her mum in the face of her father’s aggression.

She told the court her father had previously threatened to kill her during a phone call days before the attack.

When asked if things got better or worse in March last year, she said: “So much worse - it was almost like nothing would be done until he had done something to someone. I knew my dad was going to kill someone or that he was going to do something.”

The Independent Office of Police Conduct are investigating Essex Police’s contact with Lynch prior to his death and are present at the inquest.