Keep up with Armagh i

Michael and Marjorie Cawdery: PSNI apologises for failings leading up to murder of Portadown pensioners

The PSNI has apologised “unreservedly” for failings in its handling of incidents preceding the murder of Portadown pensioners Michael and Marjorie Cawdery.

The 83-year-olds were fatally attacked at home in Portadown in May 2017.

In the days leading up to the incident, Thomas Scott McEntee – the couple’s killer – repeatedly came to the attention of police and health services as he battled severe mental illness.

He was later jailed for a minimum of 10 years for two counts of manslaughter with diminished responsibility.

Last month, coroner Maria Dougan, said the deaths were “entirely preventable”.

The inquest heard from 40 witnesses and evidence centred around the interaction between McEntee, police and health services in Newry, Warrenpoint, Belfast and Craigavon in the days prior to the killings.

Tonight (Wednesday, January 3) the police issued an apology.

Chief Constable Jon Boutcher said: “I recognise that the family of Mr and Mrs Cawdery have had to live with the lasting impact of this horrendous attack and the loss of Michael and Marjorie.

“We have, following the stark findings of the inquest, carried out our own internal review, and a Serious Adverse Incident Review conducted by the Health Trust, established a Gold Co-ordinating Group under Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Ryan Henderson, Head of our Justice Department, to develop an action plan to address identified shortcomings and develop our engagement with the Department of Health and other partners. I am keen to reassure the family about our commitment to this work.

“I want to reiterate my sincere apologies to the Cawdery family on behalf of the Police Service of Northern Ireland for all failings which have been highlighted in our handling of this tragic case.

“It is imperative that we learn the lessons and do everything we can to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.”

Sign Up To Our Newsletter

Most read today

More in Portadown