“Liberation day, thank God.” - those were the chilling words written in Andrew Cairns’ diary entry on June 2, 2010 - the day he is believed to have stabbed his ex-partner Rachael Slack and their 22-month-old son Auden at her home in Well Yard, Holbrook, before ending his own life .
At an inquest into their deaths today at Derby and South Derbyshire Coroners’ Court, Doctor Robert Hunter read out extracts from a diary discovered at Mr Cairns’ bungalow following his death.
Scrawled over June 2 and 3 he wrote ‘liberation day. Thank God. On June 4 he wrote: “Two days of hell fire.”
On June 6: “It’s been a long struggle.”
Today the inquest heard evidence from PC Penny Fisher, who on May 27, 2010, arrested Mr Cairns on suspicion of making threats to kill.
However at the time she was not aware of the diary entries, which coroner doctor Hunter suggested might have been sign that Mr Cairns intended to kill on June 2
Earlier that day, Miss Slack had reported her former partner to police after he allegedly told her “you’ve no idea what I’m capable of, I’ll kill you and take him with me,” while the former couple played at a park in Denby park with their son.
PC Fisher took the statement at 7pm and at 10.30pm went to Mr Cairns’ Marehay home to issue him an harassment warning, which advises recipients to keep away from people they are alleged to have caused distress to.
But when he did not comply with the officer, she chose to arrest him.
He was arrested and detained, but after questioning police did not deem a search warrant of his home necessary. He was bailed the following morning.
Doctor Hunter put it to PC Fisher that more action might have been taken to detain Mr Cairns had the diary been discovered through a section 18 search warrant of his home, which police have permission to carry out in certain circumstances.
But PC Fisher responded: “I have personally never taken that line of action.”
After arresting Mr Cairns PC Fisher went to Rachael Slack’s home in Holbrook, where she took a written victim statement from the 38-year-old artist.
The officer was asked to read the statement aloud to the court.
In it Miss Slack told police then how she feared what Mr Cairns was capable of, telling them he had attempted to call her more than 20 times in the hours before making the statement.
“I told Andrew last week that I was expecting a baby with someone else and he’s been incredibly difficult to deal with since.” She wrote.
“I fear he will take his own life and Auden with him,”
On Thursday, September 12, forensic pathologist Guy Rutty told the hearing at Derby and South Derbyshire Coroners’ Court in Derby that ‘on the balance of probabilities’ Mr Cairns had stabbed pregnant Miss Slack and Auden to death at her house in Well Yard before turning the knife on himself to end his own life.
The inquest resumes tomorrow, Wednesday, September 18.