UK & World News
Rachael Slack Murder: Ex 'Made Death Threats'
A man threatened to kill his former partner and their son six days before all three were found stabbed dead to death, an inquest has heard.
Rachael Slack, 38, her son Auden, 23 months, and his father Andrew Cairns, 44, were found with multiple stab wounds on June 2, 2010, at her home in Holbrook, Derbyshire.
Derby coroner Dr Robert Hunter told jurors that Cairns had been known to psychiatric services for a "considerable number of years" before the deaths.
The court heard that at the beginning of May 2010, Ms Slack visited Cairns, with her new partner Robert Barlow, to tell him that she was in a new relationship.
Later that month, on May 26, Ms Slack contacted a clinical psychologist to say Cairns was in her car, would not get out and was threatening to kill her.
Ms Slack told the psychologist that she had informed Cairns she was pregnant with Mr Barlow's child.
She drove Cairns to a police station, where a psychiatric assessment was carried out.
Cairns was "deemed not to be detainable and was released from the section".
The next day, Ms Slack reported that Cairns was outside her house, but she did not need police to attend.
Later Ms Slack went to a police station and told officers that Cairns had said: "You're a f****** bitch for abandoning me and getting together with someone else and getting pregnant.
"I've given up everything to be with you, if you are going to make it difficult, I'll make it more so, you've no idea of what I'm capable of, I'll kill you and take him (Auden) with me."
Cairns then tried to phone Ms Slack 23 times.
The coroner said Cairns was arrested and Ms Slack was "at high risk of homicide".
Cairns, a golf tutor, was detained overnight and released on bail the following morning. He was told not to contact either Ms Slack or their son.
On May 28, a neighbour contacted police to say Cairns was upset about not seeing his son and felt like "grabbing" him.
Officers spoke to Cairns and felt "there was no indication" of him wanting to harm himself or anyone else.
On the morning of the killings, Cairns complained to his GP about "the lack of input from mental health services" and said: "This is going to be the most important day of your career".
The hearing was told that Cairns went straight to Ms Slack's home. A neighbour reported hearing Ms Slack screaming, and seeing her head and shoulders at the window.
When police arrived, Ms Slack and Cairns were dead.
Cairns was found with a knife on his lap.
Ms Slack had been stabbed 32 times, including twice through the heart. She also had "defensive" injuries to her hands.
Auden had been stabbed 16 times and had a "faint pulse". The child was airlifted to hospital but later pronounced dead.
Giving evidence, Home Office pathologist Professor Guy Rutty told the inquest that he believed Cairns' wounds were self-inflicted.
He added: "From a pathological point of view, it would not be of any surprise to me if Mr Cairns is responsible for the other two.
"I would favour that scenario but I feel ultimately that is the decision of the court."
The inquest, which could last around four weeks, was adjourned until Friday.