Derby mother 'unlawfully killed'

A jury has found that a mother from Derby was 'unlawfully killed'. They concluded that Rachael Slack had been stabbed by her ex-partner Andrew Cairns. Her son Auden was also found dead.

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Mother 'would be alive if police had not failed her'

The boyfriend of a pregnant woman who was killed with her toddler son by her ex-partner told Daybreak that he believed the pair would still be alive if they had not been let down by police.

Rachael Slack, 38, and her 23-month-old son Auden were found with multiple stab wounds in their home in the village of Holbrook, Derbyshire, on June 2, 2010.

They were killed by 44-year-old Andrew Cairns, Auden's father, who had a history of mental illness.

Ms Slack's partner Robert Barlow said he believed the deaths could have been avoided.He said: "She was doing the right thing by giving him (Cairns) support and always involving him in the activities with Auden, looking out for him as the father of the child.

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"I wasn't made aware of the (police) risk assessment (into the potential for homicide) and the outcome.

"If they had contacted me, I could have acted accordingly - so Rachael would have done as well. It would have got rid of any doubt of what we needed to do in the oncoming weeks after he had been arrested.

"There is every possibility, without a shadow of a doubt, there is every possibility she could have been alive today."

Charity calls for public inquiry after death of Rachael Slack

Rachael Slack and her son, Auden Credit: Courtesy of Derby Telegraph

A charity is calling for a public inquiry into how police and the state respond to domestic violence after the death of a pregnant Derbyshire woman.

Rachael Slack was killed by her former partner, Andrew Cairns in 2010. He also killed their 2-year-old son Auden before taking his own life.

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Cairns family: disappointed 'more wasn't done' to help him

Andrew Cairn's family say they are extremely disappointed more wasn't done to help him

In a statement the family of Andrew Cairns has said they are extremely disappointed that 'more wasn’t done by the mental health trust to provide the proper level of care for him.'

Rachel Adamson, a partner at the solicitors which represents the family said:

“The family feels that they and Andrew Cairns were totally let down by the mental health trust. Andrew had mental health issues and was arrested under the Mental Health Act only days before.

Specifically, the family is disappointed that the mental health trust failed to verify background information with family members which it was, as the Coroner pointed out, common practice in psychiatric medicine to do so.

They also failed to make an adequate record of the Mental Health Act assessment on Andrew against common protocol, and failed to adequately co-ordinate the care of Andrew which included a failure to maintain a co-ordinated set of healthcare records.

They feel strongly that more could have been done and ultimately Rachael, Andrew and Auden would all still be here today if all of the concerns raised had been listened to and acted appropriately upon at the time.”

Derbyshire Healthcare Trust will 'assess jury's conclusions'

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has said in a statement they 'welcome' a coroner's findings after an inquest into the deaths of a pregnant mother and her son found that they were unlawfully killed by her former partner.

Rachael Slack, 38, and her son Auden were stabbed to death by her ex-partner Andrew Cairns, in 2010.

Professor Steve Trenchard, Chief Executive of Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said:

"We would like to extend our sympathies to the family and friends of Rachael, Auden and Andrew for their loss of a loved one in this tragedy."

"We welcome the coroner's findings that there was no evidence presented over the past six weeks regarding Andrew’s care that a jury could properly consider was in breach of Article Two of the European Convention of Human Rights."

“We will assess the jury’s conclusions and coroner's comments in more detail as part of our determination to be always changing, always improving, to meet the needs of the people of Derbyshire we serve."

"Immediately after this incident in 2010, we launched our own investigation into the full circumstances behind it."

"We developed and delivered a far-reaching action plan to improve the quality of our care and take it to new levels of best practice wherever possible.”

Refuge charity: 'Rachael and Auden's deaths must not be in vain'

The family of Rachael Slack and the charity Refuge have called for a public inquiry into "state failings" in response to domestic violence.

Rachael Slack and her son Auden were unlawfully killed an inquest heard Credit: Courtesy of Derby Telegraph

Sarah Horley, from Refuge, said the case had shone a light on the failings of Derbyshire Police and added, "Enough is enough. Rachael and Auden's deaths must not be in vain."

Poignant Rachael and Auden Slack footage released

Moving footage of Rachael & Auden Slack waving goodbye in a touching family video has been released as an inquest into their deaths closed today. The video was uploaded to Refuge's YouTube channel.

The charity are teaming up with Rachael's family to call for a public inquiry into the response of the police and other authorities to women and children experiencing domestic violence.

Read more: Derby mother 'unlawfully killed'

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