‘He’d been claiming he had no food in the house and yet when she went around once and opened the cupboard under the sink she found tins stuffed behind the pipes. We think it was his way of getting her to keep coming around, of controlling her. We don’t know for sure. All we know is he was lying.’
That Christmas, Rachael rekindled a relationship with Robert Barlow, whom she’d first fallen for at 16, after finding each other on Facebook. What Rachael did not know then, but her family would learn later, was that the point of breaking from an abusive partner or ex-partner is the most dangerous time for a woman and her children.
On 26 May 2010, Cairns spent the day with Auden, then 23 months old, and Rachael. That was the day she told him she was having a baby with Barlow. ‘She said, “I’m always