Bird claimed solicitor ‘in cahoots’

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Cumbria killer Derrick Bird was paranoid, had suicidal thoughts, was convinced his twin brother had “stitched him up” - and thought former South Yorkshire solicitor Kevin Commons was against him, his best friend told an inquest.

Neil Jacques, aged 52, said Bird was obsessing about tax problems and had resigned himself to being jailed after not declaring his real income for 15 years.

Bird’s behaviour became increasingly agitated in the three days up to the murder spree, the witness told the hearing in Workington, Cumbria.

Bird appeared “shaking and petrified”, telling his friend: “I might as well top myself.”

He kept repeating over and over to himself that his brother David and former Doncaster solicitor Kevin Commons - who was brought up in Cantley - were in “cahoots” against him.

Bird, 52, killed his twin David, solicitor Mr Commons, 60, and 10 other innocent victims during his rampage through west Cumbria on June 2 last year, before turning the gun on himself.

Earlier the inquest heard Bird was worried over a tax investigation into undeclared income over many years and had sought the advice of his twin and Mr Commons.