Belfast Telegraph

Cawdery Family: The system failed us all... and Michael and Marjorie have paid with their lives

The Cawdery Family statement in full

The Cawdery family welcome the successful prosecution of Thomas McEntee for the terrible murders of Michael and Marjorie Cawdery in their home on May 26, 2017.

Michael and Marjorie were much loved parents and grandparents and did not deserve to have their lives cut short in such a cruel, brutal, and totally avoidable way.

Our one hope is that procedures will be implemented so deaths like Michael and Marjorie's are not repeated.

Whilst the family may never come to terms with what happened that day, they are pleased that the trial was shortened by the guilty pleas.

The members of the family who were closest to the incident, and who were witnesses to the shocking assault, are still living with those terrible images.

A year on, all the family suffer still from mental anguish because of the events of that day and remain severely traumatised. We believe it is essential that the full truth of all the events leading up to the homicides is established officially, so that as far as possible this can never happen again to any other family.

Many serious and, as yet, unanswered questions remain and, in our view, it is essential that both a robust inquest and a Health and Social Care Board independent investigation take place that will thoroughly investigate the full circumstances leading up to the murders.

We have learnt that Mr McEntee had been actively seeking help from the health services in the days before the homicides.

However, the care he received, such as it was, was either not effective or not safe.

The system not only appears to have failed him but has failed our family as well.

Michael and Marjorie Cawdery paid with their lives for these failures.

The focus of our concern is with the Southern Health and Social Care Trust. They delivered Mr McEntee to Craigavon Hospital from Daisy Hill Hospital without any appropriate mental health or risk assessment.

Had that not happened, we firmly believe Michael and Marjorie would still be alive today and Mr McEntee would not be facing his sentence.

All of our family's dealings with the Southern Trust have until very recently been completely unsatisfactory.

The management have shown no sympathy or consideration for the mental trauma of their patients, the Cawdery family.

They have failed in their duty of care to us and we believe their 'Serious Adverse Incident Review' into the circumstances is totally inadequate and not fit for purpose.

The review panel itself was not properly constituted, the review was not fully independent and it reached conclusions that were not supported by the evidence presented.

Through this whole process we have been supported by the Family Liaison Officer of the PSNI, who was always there for us when needed.

Chief Inspector Boyce and his whole team have provided the evidence that ensured the conviction in the most professional way.

The care and compassion of the PSNI was in stark contrast to that shown by the Southern Health and Social Care Trust management.

We thank both the PSNI and the Public Prosecution Service for their clear and professional actions throughout.

We would also like to thank Julian Hendy of the Hundredfamilies Charity and Richard Dixon of the Patient Client Council for their invaluable support and constant advice.

We also would like to thank everyone in the local community for their compassion and support.

Belfast Telegraph

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