Tragic tot at centre of Preston murder probe

Aiden Jonathan Gary Cairns
Aiden Jonathan Gary Cairns
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This is the baby boy alleged to have been murdered in a flat in Preston.

The image shows tiny Aiden Jonathan Gary Cairns, who was born on February 18 last year weighing 7lb 11oz, sleeping peacefully in his hospital cot at the Royal Preston Hospital.

Tragically, just 13 months later, the tot was pronounced dead at the very same hospital, prompting a murder probe.

Paramedics were called to a report of a baby suffering a possible cardiac or respiratory problems in a flat on Church Street at 6.51am last Saturday.

Aiden’s mother, named locally as Tasha Hough, 25, from Ribbleton, and father Liam Cairns, 25, who is understood to have lived at the flat but comes from the Grange area of the city, were questioned for 36 hours over the death but have since been released on bail pending further inquiries.

On Friday a single police van remained parked outside the block of shops and flats opposite the Old Dog pub.

Workers in the area described how on Wednesday, five police vehicles were parked opposite the property.

Other sources said a house in Ribbleton had also been visited by officers over the weekend. Taxi driver Balkar Singh, 52, who works at nearby Ace Taxis, said: “We saw lots of police cars but didn’t know anything about what had happened to the baby.

“It’s very sad, and everyone around here is really shocked.”

Grandfather Les Whittle, 49, from Avenham, walks past the flats every day.

He said: “ There were 5 police cars but no one knew what they were there for. It’s absolutely terrible.

Barber Sam Thomson, 28, said: “It’s disgusting, and shocking to think something so awful has happened two seconds from where we work.”

A North West Ambulance Service spokesman said:” At 6.51am we were called to Church Street in Preston. The police were contacted and it is now a police investigation.

“The patient was taken to the Royal Preston Hospital.”