© UnknownTragedy: Christopher Grady is accused of murdering his five-year-old daughter Gabby and attempting to murder his six-year-old son Ryan after driving his car into a river whilst they were sitting on the back seat
A father drove two of his children into a river after telling their mother: 'You've got ten seconds to say goodbye to your kids and then they are dead,' a court heard yesterday.

Christopher Grady issued the chilling threat after turning up at Kim Smith's door with Ryan, six, and Gabrielle, five, in the car, the jury was told.

As she made a frantic grab at the car door to get them out, he sped off with the children screaming in the back seat.

Witnesses watched in horror as he drove the car at full speed into the freezing water, the court heard.

Ryan was rescued, but Gabrielle was pronounced dead in hospital after firemen fought for two hours to rescue her from the sinking car.

Grady, a self-employed welder and blacksmith, who was separated from Miss Smith, 39, had been arguing with her about seeing the children, the court heard.

He was alleged to have previously told her: 'If I can't have them, you can't.'

© Nick Wilkinson/NewsteamConfrontation: When Miss Smith realised he had not taken them to school she questioned him on the phone. Grady allegedly replied they would never go again
Graham Reeds, QC, prosecuting, told Birmingham Crown Court that Grady's life had been 'unravelling' at the time. Financial problems meant he was unable to pay his rent and was essentially homeless.

Miss Smith told him she would not allow him overnight visits with the children unless he had a more permanent address, the court heard.

On February 11 last year, the day of the tragedy, Grady, of Evesham, Worcestershire, had been in charge of Ryan and Gabrielle, two of his five children.

When Miss Smith realised he had not taken them to school she confronted him on the phone. Grady allegedly replied they would never go again.

A minute later he arrived at her home with the children in the car and told her: 'This is the last time you gonna see them. They're gonna die,' the jury heard.

Mr Reeds told the court: 'He said Kim had ten seconds to say goodbye. She remembers him shouting "river" and then accelerating away as she made an unsuccessful grab to try and open the door to get her children out of the car.'

Witnesses then heard the children 'screaming and wailing' as Grady drove towards the Avon.

They watched as he allegedly drove through a field to give himself a run-up to the river bank before he turned around and 'floored' the accelerator, speeding into the water, which was just 4c.
© PASubmerged: Christopher Grady drove his Vauxhall Vectra into the River Avon with his two children sitting on the back seat

© PATragedy: The car's windscreen was smashed and its sunroof was missing. Gabby Grady was pulled through the sunroof but died in hospital three days later

As the car sank, one of the children was seen banging on the back window. Neither knew how to swim.

Grady managed to get out of the car and pull Ryan out before swimming towards the bank.

Ryan went under the water, but a policeman jumped in and saved him. Poor visibility and freezing water hampered firemen's efforts to rescue Gabrielle.

Grady, who was arrested at the scene, allegedly told a paramedic: 'I've killed my kids... what have I done... I want to die.'

A number of suicide notes were recovered from the car, the court heard.

Grady denies charges of attempted murder and murder.

The trial continues.
© PAHarrowing: Children's toys could be seen on the back seat as the car was winched out of the water. Six-year-old Ryan Grady survived