Michael and Marjorie Cawdery family to demand apology from health chiefs

Michael Cawdery and his wife Marjory died in May 2017
Michael Cawdery and his wife Marjory died in May 2017

The family of an elderly couple stabbed to death by a man with severe mental health problems will demand an apology from health bosses today.

Michael and Marjorie Cawdery were killed in their own home by Thomas Scott McEntee on May 26, 2017.

The married couple were both aged 83.

McEntee admitted manslaughter and was given a life sentence in June last year.

Over the course of the week leading up to the horrific killing, McEntee made four separate visits to hospital seeking help — on one occasion while completely naked, with cuts on his arm after self-harming, and believing his life to be in danger.

The pensioners’ family are due to meet with the Department of Health’s permanent secretary Richard Pengelly later today.

Charles Little, the son-in-law of Mr and Mrs Cawdery who was the first to the scene after the horrific killing, told the News Letter on Tuesday: “First and foremost, we want an apology — we’ve never had an apology. Instead, what we’ve had are apologies for ‘distress caused’. That just makes things worse.

“We want them to apologise for the failures that led to the deaths of Michael and Marjorie Cawdery. To suggest that they should just apologise for the distress caused is just insulting.”

He continued: “We also want them to acknowledge that they will take mental health seriously. We want a commitment that they will seriously look at dealing with mental health on a province-wide basis. At the moment they’re trying to fit the patients into a service that’s not designed properly for them.”

Mr Little told the News Letter last year that the family have been forced to fight “tooth and nail” for “the truth” about the circumstances surrounding the deaths. Yesterday, he said: “They also need to look at duty of candour. There’s a culture of concealing, denying, hiding and not actively seeking the truth.”