A FATHER allegedly slashed the throats of his two children visiting him for Christmas as they attempted to flee before killing himself.
The horrific holiday murder took place at the home of ex-carpenter Alessandro Pontin, 49, in Trebaseleghe in the Italian region of Venento.
The father-of-two was separated from the children's mother and it was his turn to care for them over the Christmas period.
His daughter Francesca, 15, and son Pietro, 13, were reportedly sleeping in their beds when he brutally attacked them.
The children had previously been staying with their mother Roberta Calzarotto, 47, and her parents, before visiting their dad for Christmas.
Initial reports suggested the teenagers were killed as they slept, but after analysis of the crime scene, police said they had attempted to escape their fathers violent rampage.
Trails of blood on the floor of the home were trampled on several times by Pontin and his two children, suggesting they realised what was happening before they were cruelly butchered.
The self-proclaimed expert in holistic disciplines then allegedly killed himself with the weapon after the bloodbath.
Pontin left a suicide note requesting to be cremated and for his ashes to be scattered – but with no mention of his children, FanPage reports.
According to the children's uncle, Claudio Calzarotto, the estranged couple were "constantly arguing" over monthly child support payments for both children.
"My sister received 100 euros a month for the two children and the magistrate seemed inadequate, excessively low figure.
"She had asked for something more, but just this week everything was archived and she was very angry," he said.
Local media reported that their mother, a nurse at Camposampiero Hospital, had found it difficult to raise her children on a single salary and asked their father to increase payment.
When she was informed of her children's death, she collapsed and is currently being treated in hospital for shock.
The bodies of the three were discovered by Pontin's brother.
He revealed how his murderous sibling had difficulty finding a secure job after his career as a carpenter – so he tried to reinvent himself as a masseuse, before becoming an holistic expert, and then a Zen motivational expert.
He created a site called "The reflected world of Alesandro Pontin", which could bear cruel hints to his shocking crimes, behind his Zen image.
"Through a conscious touch, you will release the discomfort, you will understand the cause and you will find harmony," one post said.
Another quote posted to his Facebook profile reads: "Life is yourself, if life is difficult to bear it is because it is very difficult to bear yourself."
The children’s distraught grandfather, Aldo Cazzarotto, said: "Not even a beast kills its own children like that. But what man was this?
“I used to pick them up from school every day because my daughter works. They used to eat with me and my wife. How can we live without them?"
He claimed that his daughter had often warned police that her ex-partner was a dangerous man, but said nothing was ever done until it was too late.
WHERE CAN I GET HELP?
You don't have to suffer in silence.
If you are experiencing domestic violence or someone you know is there are groups that can help.
Refuge runs a free, 24-hour helpline on 0808 2000 247.
You can also visit the website or contact Women’s Aid.
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