Five years of pain and still no answers - Regan Tierney’s family remember the ‘beautiful’ young mum they lost

-Credit: (Image: MEN)
-Credit: (Image: MEN)


In the early hours of July 5, 2019 Shannon Tierney received a phone call that would shatter the lives of her and her family forever. Her ‘beautiful’ and ‘selfless’ older sister Regan had been ‘killed’ at the hands of her partner in their former Salford home.

It was the start of an ‘awful dream’. Five years on it has turned into a nightmare that Regan’s family have been unable to wake up from as they still wait for answers.

After years of delays an inquest into the tragic death of the 27-year-old mum is finally being heard next month. Her family hope it will bring to light that Regan failed to be protected by the very people who were meant to keep her safe.

READ MORE: Three teenagers deny murdering Prince Walker-Ayeni who was stabbed in Moss Side

A 2022 Domestic Homicide Review commissioned by Salford Community Safety Partnership found that just days before her death, Regan made a phone call to police reporting that her partner Daniel Patten, 31, had threatened to 'put her head on a stick,' believing she was in danger.

But due to a three-day delay to record the report by GMP, by the time the force made contact with her, Regan had 'lost confidence' and decided not to take the matter further.

Regan with her children Lorelei and Dexter -Credit:Family handout
Regan with her children Lorelei and Dexter -Credit:Family handout

An inquest into Daniel Patten’s death in 2022 heard the 31-year-old stabbed Regan to death at the home they once shared in Walkden before killing himself after being left "destroyed" by their break-up.

Police said they were treating the tragedy as a murder-suicide following the pair's ten-year relationship, during which Regan was subject to coercive and controlling behaviour, intimidation, verbal abuse, physical violence and threats, at the hands of Patten.

Regan Tierney was just 27 when she died -Credit:MEN Media
Regan Tierney was just 27 when she died -Credit:MEN Media

The Domestic Homicide Review following Regan’s death found that a number of opportunities were missed by services including GMP, GP practices, Bolton NHS FT services, Greater Manchester Mental Health Foundation, and Salford Royal NHS Trust.

Regan’s family believe that she was ‘let down’ and would still be alive today had the correct procedures been implemented by GMP and other bodies.

Lorelei and Dexter sleep with pictures of their mum above their beds -Credit:Family handout
Lorelei and Dexter sleep with pictures of their mum above their beds -Credit:Family handout

At a pre-inquest review at Bolton Coroner's Court in May last year, a representative for Regan's family said they had 'immense frustration' at the delays which have plagued her inquest. Area coroner Peter Sigee apologised to the family, citing a lack of court resources as the reason for the wait.

On the fifth anniversary of Regan’s death today, Shannon paid tribute to her 'beautiful' sister and ‘best friend’.

“Regan was such a loving, selfless and beautiful soul. Honestly you couldn’t have asked for a better sister. She was just someone who was so family oriented and always put her kids and family first,” she said.

Regan and Shannon with Penelope and thier grandad John on his 80th birthday two months before Regan's death -Credit:Family handout
Regan and Shannon with Penelope and thier grandad John on his 80th birthday two months before Regan's death -Credit:Family handout

Recalling the devastating moment she found out her sister had gone, Shannon said: “I broke down on the floor screaming; it just felt like an awful dream.

“The only way to describe it is that my heart had been ripped out, like my soul had completely gone. She was my best friend in everything. There’s just a piece of my heart that will never be repaired due to losing her.”

The tragedy five years ago left Regan’s children Lorelei and Dexter without parents. Shannon took them in and made a heartbreaking pledge to adopt them.

Lorelei, Penelope, Shannon and  Dexter
Lorelei, Penelope, Shannon and Dexter -Credit:Family handout

The 29-year-old and her partner Alan Shaw are today the legal guardians of Lorelei, 12, and Dexter, nine who now have the last name Tierney-Shaw. The couple’s daughter Penelope, eight, who they are ‘very close’ to is now their sister.

Shannon said Regan’s children are her ‘legacy’.

“Lorelei is the spitting image of her and Dexter has the same personality she had. Shy, but cheeky. They are her legacy and we are so proud of them.

“They have their ups and downs but they are fantastic and resilient children,” she said.

Shannon said the family ‘always’ talk about Regan to ‘keep her memory alive’ and both her children have photos of their mum above their beds, while Dexter sleeps with his mum’s jacket which he ‘cuddles’.

Penelope and Regan on her christening -Credit:Family handout
Penelope and Regan on her christening -Credit:Family handout

Reflecting on her sister’s death, Shannon said: “It still doesn’t feel real, I don’t think it ever will. We just try our best to keep her memory alive, especially on the anniversary.

“We have a little corner in the back garden with a headstone for her and we put flowers down, we also light a remembrance candle and just share stories and show photos.

“Regan was such a loving, selfless and beautiful soul. Honestly you couldn’t have asked for a better sister. She was just someone who was so family oriented and always put her kids and family first.

“I tell them [Lorelei and Dexter] everything about her, how she was when she was younger, how we had such a close and special bond, how amazing she was in every way.”

Regan and Shannon as children and their grandad John -Credit:Family handout
Regan and Shannon as children and their grandad John -Credit:Family handout

Shannon said the family has been unable to ‘grieve properly’ over the last five years with Regan’s inquest ‘lingering over their heads’.

“It’s been very anxious waiting.We Haven’t been able to grieve due to meetings and then pre inquest after pre inquest, you start to heal a little bit then the wounds are reopened. I feel like the closure and grief will fully come once the inquest is over,” she said.

Lorelei, Dexter, Penelope and their great grandad John -Credit:Family handout
Lorelei, Dexter, Penelope and their great grandad John -Credit:Family handout

Heartbreakingly, her and Regan’s grandad John, who raised them along with their brother Kasey, died in December before seeing ‘proper justice’ for Regan.

Shannon said: “Grandad was honestly the best man you could ever meet. He raised all of us and he was absolutely heartbroken when Regan died which accelerated his Parkinson’s.

“He always told me he didn’t want to go to his grave without seeing justice done and I told the coroner this and the police but sadly it fell on deaf ears, so we fight for Regan, her children and my grandad so he can see proper justice done for Regan.

Dexter and his great grandad John -Credit:Family handout
Dexter and his great grandad John -Credit:Family handout

“We are hoping that the jury and coroner can see that she wasn’t protected by the people who were meant to protect her, and that more awareness, understanding and training will be brought in for domestic violence and domestic homicide.

“We have also put legislation forward for families of domestic homicide so hopefully that will help other families in the same situation as us.”

Two years ago Kasey also passed away from cancer, aged just 22, leaving Shannon as the only sibling.

“I’m the only surviving child from my mum and dad, it kills me when I say that,” she said.

Regan’s inquest is set to be held on July 8, the same date as Shannons 30th birthday. “Knowing we have a date now makes me very nervous and unsettled but at least we will have the answers and the justice we have been seeking,” she said.