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Two boys found dead at home with their mother had been strangled, inquest told

The bodies of Nadja de Jager, 47, and her sons Alexander, nine, and Maximus, seven, were discovered at their home in London on March 9.

Police at scene in Belvedere

Two young boys were found strangled at their home and their mother was discovered dead in the same property, an inquest has heard.

The bodies of Nadja de Jager, 47, and her sons Alexander, nine, and Maximus, seven, were discovered after police forced entry to their home in Belvedere, south-east London, on March 9.

Post-mortem examinations revealed the boys’ provisional cause of death as ligature compression to the neck while their mother’s provisional cause of death was given as suspension, a medical term which includes hanging.

An inquest into all three deaths was opened and adjourned during a five-minute hearing at Croydon Coroner’s Court on Friday morning.

Belvedere incident
Police officers stand outside the house where the bodies were found (Yui Mok/PA)

They were found dead at the scene at about 11.50am after concerns were raised about their welfare.

Detective Inspector Oliver Stride, of the Metropolitan Police’s specialist crime command, told the hearing both boys were found in an upstairs bedroom of the property on Mayfield Road.

He added: “Maximus was on the bed while Alexander was lying on the floor next to the bed.

“The provisional cause of death for both of them was given as ligature compression to the neck pending further investigation.

“Nadja’s provisional cause of death was given as suspension.”

He added that the boys’ father, whose name was not given, identified the boys’ bodies.

Alexander and Maximus were “model pupils” and “each other’s best friend”, their school said at the time in a tribute.

In a tribute, a spokesperson for Belvedere Infant and Junior School said: “It is with great sadness that we can confirm that two of our pupils, Alexander and Maximus De Jager, died at home this week.

“Alex and Max were truly wonderful members of our school community and we will remember them with great fondness and love.

“They were loving and caring boys who had a real hunger to learn.

“Both were model pupils and it was clear that they were each other’s best friend.

“They will be hugely missed by pupils and staff alike, and forever be part of our hearts at Belvedere.

“Our deepest condolences are with the family and their friends during this difficult time.”

Detectives are not looking for anyone else in connection with the investigation, the Metropolitan Police said at the time.

Senior coroner for South London, Sarah Ormond-Walshe, told the hearing: “There is a police investigation in relation to all three deaths. The proceedings in this case are essentially adjourned.”

It is likely to conclude in six months.

Once that has happened it will be decided whether a full inquest needs to take place.

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