A HEARTBREAKING inquest opens today into the deaths of Bolton mum and her two young daughters.

At Bolton Coroners' Court assistant coroner Peter Sigee will hear evidence about events leading up to the bodies of Tiffany Stevens and her children  Casey-Lea Taylor and Darcy Stevens being found at their Little Lever home.

He will then decided whether Casey-Lea, aged three, and Darcy, 18 months, were unlawfully killed by their mother.

The three were discovered at their rented terraced house in Arthur Street, Little Lever, on January 21 2019, in news that shocked the borough and the wider community.

Police initially treated the deaths of two young children as murder but Ms Stevens death was not treated as suspicious and police did not look for anyone else in connection with the death of her children.

At an earlier hearing Mr Sigee described the tragedy as “one of the most distressing cases I have had to deal with in my time as a coroner."

He added that the “evidence suggests that Tiffany may have ended the lives of Darcy and Casey-Lea”.

The inquest will look to discover Ms Stevens' state of mind at the time of the deaths and whether she intended to end her own life.

It has been suggested that Darcy and Casey-Lea may have had “substances” given to them which caused their deaths.

“If she did have competency and administered substances that caused their deaths it would need to be considered whether the various tests are made out to conclude that the two children were unlawfully killed,” added Mr Sigee.

“I will have to consider as part of that the criminal offences of manslaughter and murder. If I find the criteria are satisfied I would have to find they were unlawfully killed.

“I have seen from the evidence that these three had very complex lives with many different interactions and relationships with a lot of different people, some good and positive and possible some that were not so good or positive.”

Tributes poured into the family after the news broke of their deaths.

Casey-Lea's father Liam Taylor described her as "a beautiful little girl who was deeply loved by many and will be sadly missed by a lot of people.”

Dary’s father Gary Eden said: “I will love and miss Darcy forever and she will always live on through me.”