The man who took the life of my sister had a history of violence but the police did nothing. Six years on, he murdered his girlfriend and they still did nothing. We need to know why
Family accuse detectives of ignoring their suspicions and allowing a killer to strike again
WHEN her sister Caroline died at just 35, heartbroken Anne Devlin sadly accepted she had died of natural causes.
Doctors blamed a brain haemorrhage after Caroline had died suddenly in bed. Her boyfriend Robert Trigg had helped to support her at the funeral.
Six years later however, when another girlfriend of Trigg, Susan Nicholson, died in remarkably similar circumstances, Anne felt an awful chill.
Breaking her silence after Trigg, who had a long history of violence against women, was finally convicted of Caroline’s manslaughter and Susan’s murder, Anne, of Cumnock, Aryshire, said: “When we heard that another of his girlfriends had died in the exact same way, we just knew.
“How could the police have failed to see what they were dealing with?”
At the time of her death, Caroline’s mum Jean had been suspicious but was brushed off by the police.
Jean, from Auchinleck, East Ayrshire, said: “Instead of being taken seriously, I was told they were too busy to talk to me.
“My daughter had been killed and police refused to listen to me.”
Jean approached police in Caroline’s home town of Worthing, East Sussex.
She said: “I made an appointment to see a police sergeant.
“But when I arrived at the station front counter, I was handed a phone and expected to talk about my suspicions in front of strangers reporting lost dogs and car thefts.
“When I asked if I could talk in private, the sergeant on the phone said he was too busy. I left feeling dismissed.
“It was when I read of Susan’s death that I knew I had to tell police.
“I refused to believe two of Trigg’s girlfriends had died of natural causes. “The chances were hugely remote. “It later emerged that Trigg had a track record of violence against women going back two decades. Long before killing my Caroline.”
Caroline, 35, born and raised in Auchinleck, was in a relationship with Trigg after meeting him in her adopted town of Worthing in West Sussex.
She lived in the town with her four children Gemma, then 16, Jordan 13, Cody, 10, and Brandon, nine. But her relationship with Trigg was marred with his violent outbursts.
Neighbours reported he would erupt and lash out while drunk.
Caroline was found dead in bed in 2006 by Jordan as he prepared to make her a Mother’s Day breakfast.
Trigg sat on the stairs of Caroline’s home drinking coffee and told the children he had found her lifeless.
A post mortem reported she had died from a brain haemorrhage.
Sitting in her home surrounded by family photos, Jean added: “When I heard that another of Trigg’s partners, Susan Nicholson, had died, I knew Caroline had been killed.
“I contacted her grieving parents, Peter and Elizabeth Skelton.
“They too refused to believe their daughter had not been murdered.”
Trigg had told police he accidently smothered Susan as they slept on a small sofa. Despite the Skeltons’ protests an inquest found that Susan had died accidently.
Both families were distraught that Trigg was not being investigated.
Justice for Caroline and Susan only came about when the Skeltons spent
Caroline Devlin died in bed but was killed by her partner Robert Trigg.
■ Susan Nicholson was murdered by Trigg six years after Caroline died.