Inquest into tragic deaths

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An inquest into the deaths of a pregnant mother, her ex-partner and their toddler son is due to start today.

Rachael Slack was found dead in her Holbrook cottage along with former partner Andrew Cairns.

The estranged couple’s 23-month-old son, Auden, was airlifted to Royal Derby Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The tragedy was discovered at about 11am on June 2, 2010, after police were called to the 38-year-old mother’s home in Well Yard.

Ms Slack was expecting another child with her new partner at the time of her death.

Post-mortem examinations of the three bodies revealed they all died from stab wounds.

The inquest, which starts on Thursday at Derby and South Derbyshire Coroner’s Court, is expected to last for about four weeks.

A spokeswoman at the coroner’s court said: “The inquest will be held in a bigger room than where inquests usually take place and there will be a section for the press and chairs for the public.”

Most inquests are just heard before a coroner but the law requires certain inquests, such as this case, to be held by the coroner sitting with a jury.

In such cases, it is the jury which decides what the verdict is.

After this the coroner will sum up and then the jury will retire to consider its verdict.