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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  1. Peter Bearne

Jury sent out in Slack inquest

The coroner has instructed the jury that they can return conclusions (previously known as verdicts) of "unlawful killing" on Rachael and Auden Slack, and "suicide" on Andrew Cairns.

Dr Robert Hunter has also told them they can return a narrative conclusion on Miss Slack and Auden which includes mention of unlawful killing either by murder or voluntary manslaughter, depending on their assessment of the state of mind of the person responsible.

The jury, he said, must reach their conclusions "beyond all reasonable doubt".

  1. Peter Bearne

Jury expected to retire in inquest into Derby stabbing

The jury in the inquest into the deaths of a pregnant mother, her ex-partner and their son found stabbed to death in Derbyshire are today expected to retire to begin their deliberations.

Rachael Slack, Andrew Cairns and two-year-old Auden were all found with multiple stab wounds at Miss Slack's cottage in Holbrook in June 2010.

Rachel Slack and her son Auden Credit: Courtesy of Derby Telegraph

The inquest jury have heard five weeks of evidence covering the day of the tragedy and police contact with Andrew Cairns in the days leading up to it. They have also been told about Mr Cairns' history of psychiatric problems and his care by mental health services in Derbyshire.

The coroner will today give the jury directions on the verdicts they can reach before sending them out.


  1. Peter Bearne

Coroner continues thorough summary of stab inquest

Coroner Dr Robert Hunter is going through every piece of evidence, witness by witness, heard over the past five weeks.

He first reminded the jury of the concerns of both Andrew Cairns' and Rachael Slack's families about Mr Cairns' state of mind.

Both Hazel Slack, Miss Slack's mother, and Diane Belshaw, Mr Cairns' sister, told the court how he often spoke of having suicidal thoughts. Mrs Belshaw had recalled a family Christmas in 2008 when her brother seemed agitated and looked "dead behind the eyes".

  1. Peter Bearne

Coroner to begin summing up Derby stabbing inquest

The coroner overseeing the inquests in Derby on a pregnant mother, her ex-partner and their toddler son is today beginning his summing up of the case.

The inquest is being heard at Derby Coroner's Court Credit: ITV News Central

Rachael and Auden Slack, and Andrew Cairns, were found stabbed to death at Miss Slack's cottage in Holbrook, Derbyshire, in June 2010.

Coroner Dr Robert Hunter resumed the inquests on September 12th and will now give the jury his 40,000 word summing up of the evidence. It will take all of today and most of tomorrow morning.

"I heard screams": Neighbour of woman stabbed to death gives evidence at inquest

The neighbour of a woman found stabbed to death has told an inquest that she heard her screams. Rachael Slack, her son Auden and her ex-partner Andrew Cairns were all found dead at Miss Slack's home in Derbyshire.

Norma Way told the inquest jury that on the 2nd June 2010, she'd seen Rachael Slack in the window shouting 'Norma! Norma!' with a man stood behind her. And that during the 999 call she made, she could hear screaming coming from the house but not from Auden.

She said that worried her because she thought, 'If a child of that age saw his mother being attacked he'd be crying.' Mrs Way told the court when a police officer arrived and looked in a window he said he could see a woman lying on top of a child, with a man on top of her. The inquest continues.


Paramedic found dead man lying next to Rachael Slack

A paramedic has told an inquest jury that when he arrived at Rachel Slack's home in Holbrook he saw a dead man lying on the floor alongside her.

Adrian Ward said he had been told by a neighbour that Miss Slack was pregnant.

Andrew Cairns was found dead alongside his ex-partner and son

He also told the inquest jury in Derby that a police officer had tried to revive Miss Slack's two-year-old son, Auden, using mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. But because the officer was blowing into Auden's mouth, it was coming out of from stab wounds in his chest.

Policeman saw number of stab wounds to son's body

A Derbyshire policeman has given evidence at an inquest into the death of Rachael Slack, her son, Auden, and ex-partner, Andrew Cairns.

PC Lee Sadler was called to Rachael Slack's house on 2nd June and kicked-in the front door. Once the door gave way, PC Sadler saw another officer trying to resuscitate Ms. Slack's son, who was lying on the floor.

PC Sadler told the inquest he went with Auden Slack as he was taken to hospital in the ambulance.

He said he could see a number of stab wounds to Auden's body, and that lots of medical staff were 'rushing around him' at hospital, before adding, 'I don't believe he ever recovered.'

Rachael Slack looked 'very frightened' - witness

A witness who made a 999 call to police on the day Rachael Slack and her son, Auden, were found dead has told the inquest jury that Rachael Slack was a very nice and kind girl.

The jury also heard audio of an emergency call on the 2nd June 2010 in which Mrs Norma Way told the operator she had heard screams coming from Rachael Slack's house, and that it had then gone quiet.

Mrs Way also told the jury that she saw Rachael Slack in the window with Andrew Cairns stood behind her.

She said Rachael Slack looked, 'very strained and very frightened.'

Witness saw 'agitated' man at Rachael Slack's house

The first witness to give evidence into deaths of a man, his ex-partner and their child in Derbyshire is Edward Clark.

Mr Clark was a neighbour of Rachael Slack who lived in the village of Holbrooke. Ms. Slack and her son, Auden, were found with multiple stab wounds on 2nd June 2010, along with her ex-partner, Andrew Cairns.

Andrew Cairns

He told the inquest that on 31st May 2010 he saw a man go into Rachael Slack's house, but said there seemed nothing unusual about this scene.

Mr Clark also said that on the following day he saw another man walk into the front of his property and then retrace his steps.

Then on 2nd June 2010 he saw a man knocking on the door and window of Rachael Slack's house looking concerned and agitated.

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