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A coroner has admitted that a mum of two young daughters “may have ended” their lives, an inquest heard today.
Tiffany Stevens, 27, who was found dead at her Bolton home with her two children – Darcey Stevens, 1, and three-year-old Casey-Lea Taylor – in January, 2019.
Greater Manchester Police treated the deaths of the girls as murder at the time, but confirmed that they were not looking for anyone connected to it. The mother's death was not seen as suspicious, Manchester Evening News reports.
And now, assistant coroner Peter Sigee has told a hearing that he might have to consider ruling it as an “unlawful killing”.
He told Bolton Coroners Court: “Evidence suggests that Tiffany may have ended the lives of Darcey and Casey-Lea.
“I’m going to have to consider whether Tiffany had capacity at the time of Darcey and Casey Lea ingesting the substances that caused their death.
“If she did have capacity and administer substances that caused the children’s deaths, I would have to consider whether the two children were unlawfully killed.”
While stating that he might also have to rule the mother's death as “suicide” he told family members present that it was one of the “saddest cases I have had to consider and deal with in my time as coroner”.
At the time of the incident, neighbour Annmarie Crossland, 36, said she was first alerted to the fact that something was wrong when Ms Stevens' brother and ex-boyfriend were heard "screaming and shouting" in the alleyway at the back of the house before another neighbour rang 999.
She said: "Paramedics arrived first and shot off down the back, then another came and then just all police covered the whole street."
A two-day inquest will start on January 6, 2022, with witnesses including family members, Bolton Social Services, GMP, medical professionals, and the author of a serious case review into the incident.
Mr Sigee added: “My preliminary view that these deaths are so linked that it is sensible for all three inquests to be heard at the same time."
For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.
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