A Birmingham father came home from work to find his wife and two young sons hanged at their home after she apparently killed her children then herself.

The man, who has not been named, was last night described as "distraught" after making the grisly find at his home in Radnor Road, Handsworth.

The woman, who was Asian and spoke little English, was in her 20s and the two children were aged one and two.

A neighbour claimed the woman had been alone for long periods and had seemed somewhat alienated.

The family lived at a seven-bedroom three storey Edwardian villa which had been split into two flats, having bought it about six months ago from a housing association.

Neighbour Bernard Barnes, a 60-year-old publisher, said the family were good neighbours - clean, quiet and sociable.

He said the husband usually came home from work between two and three in the morning, he said but on Wednesday evening he came home at about 9pm.

It is believed the man then had trouble getting into his house and called another neighbour to help, and they found the bodies inside.

"I was waiting outside for my wife to come in and I saw his car drive up," he said. "I'd gone upstairs and after 10 minutes I heard police sirens. Because of the sirens, we looked out of the window and they had blocked the road off and there were cars and vans and everything there.

"The police took him away last night - I suppose he was in shock. He wasn't handcuffed or anything like that.

"It looked like police were just taking him away from what had happened.

"He was clutching what looked to be child's clothing or a kid's blanket to his face and he looked distraught."

Mr Barnes said he regularly spoke with the family and they were ordinary people who caused no problems.

"All I can say is that they are nice, quiet family who caused no trouble and no problems.

"They argued, just like everybody argues, but not to excess. They were ordinary people.

He said he last saw the woman on Tuesday.

"The wife was in the garden and the children were in the house. The two boys were always in the house, they weren't allowed out very much.

"She was quite polite. She would acknowledge you in a respectful way. She couldn't speak English so we never had much communication with her.

"I think the wife spent too much time on her own.

"He was out a lot and not being fluent in English I think she was sort of alienated here."

Graham Flash, a cleaner at a respite home in Radnor Road, said he frequently heard rowing coming from the house.

"I often heard shouting," he said.

"I've seen police at the house a few times before. The last time was about two weeks ago."

Another neighbour said: "I've been in tears since I heard the news. The children were at an adorable age - just babies really."

Police were maintaining a low key presence in the street yesterday.

DI Bob Bradford said no arrests had been made and the police were not looking for anybody in connection with the deaths.

"We are not treating it as a murder inquiry," he said.

"We are examining CCTV evidence and conducting house to house inquiries."

A post mortem carried out on the woman and two children found all three had died as a result of hanging.

A spokesman for West Midlands Police said they had been called to the house at 9.45pm on Wednesday.

The father was yesterday being comforted by relatives and family liaison officers.