A SHOCKED police officer discovered the horrific scene after climbing into Celeste Bates' terraced cottage home through a bedroom window.

The officer had been summoned after her sister, Maria Das Santos, had been unable to rouse the family.

Maria had arrived at the house a short time earlier to take Daniel to an out-of-school service and Milo to nursery.

But when Celeste failed to answer the door and the house looked to be in darkness she raised the alarm.

Police arrived at 7.50am and tried to force their way through the front door.

Eventually a police officer obtained a ladder from a joiner nearby. He climbed in to the house through the front bedroom window.

He discovered Celeste dead on her bed. She was horribly mutilated.

The two boys, Daniel, aged eight and 17-month-old Milo were dead on the beds in their own bedrooms.

The house was sealed off and detectives including Bolton CID chief, Det Supt Mick Gorrill, were called to the scene.

He said the sight of the victims in the house had a "devastating" effect on everyone who witnessed it.

"We all had a job to do but it is something that will live with me for ever," said Det Supt Gorrill. "The word horrific does not adequately describe what happened on that day.

"It was evil in the extreme, a terrible crime. It has had a devastating effect on Celeste's family and every member of the police team has great sympathy for them."

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