THE owner of the garage where Dave Cass murdered his two daughters before hanging himself has described him as a "doting family man".

Speaking outside Paynes Road garage in Freemantle, Southampton, this morning, John Mayhew, said that Dave had mentioned relationship problems four months ago and was trying to sort it out.

He added that he was fine until he had Friday off when he spoke to the manager and said he was going to go away.

Mr Mayhew said: "He came in on Saturday to collect his pay and worked until 1pm. He was just low, something to do with custody of his children, but I wasn't worried about what he was going to do.

He said he was distressed."

Asked what kind of a man he was Mr Mayhew said: "He was a nice lad. A very good worker but he kept himself to himself. It sounds ridiculous but he was a doting family man.

"He was quite a private man. There were no problems with his job. On Saturday he was just quite and very low."

Mr Mayhew said he last saw him at 2.30pm on Saturday. He found out about the death when he saw it on the TV this morning at 5.30am.

Half a dozen bouquets have been laid outside the garage.

Friends and relatives continued to lay floral tributes throughout the afternoon but most were too upset to talk.

One of the bouquets had a note which read: "I wish you had had a chance to grow with your mummy. I love you with all my heart." It was signed Carly, Lucy and Scarlet.

An aunt left two identical bouquets of lilies and carnations with teddy bears. The notes said: "Sweet Ellie, forever in our hearts. We will always remember you." The other read: "Sweet Izzy, so young and so lovely. Sleep tight darling. Rest in peace." They were signed by Aunty Lou, Jimps and family.

Another tribute left by friends of the family read: "So young and beautiful, so very fragile. All our love at such a terrible time." This was from Ash, Jodie, Marion and family.

A friend of Dave Cass, Danny Cartwright, 42, a labourer from Southampton, said he had heard the news this morning and stopped the lay flowers.

He said: "It's such a shock and a shame for the kids. He was having a bit of a bad time and you could see he was depressed without the kids but I had no idea anything like this would happen otherwise someone would have done something."

Another work colleague, who would not give his name, dropped by the leave flowers. "He was a genuine guy, a real diamond, one of those people you could just get on with. He adored the girls."