A coroner fought back tears as she opened inquests into the deaths of two young girls, their aunt and their father, who were found stabbed in their necks at a house in Costessey.

Norfolk area coroner Samantha Goward appeared to begin to cry as she first opened the inquest into the death of eight-year-old Natasha Kuczynska, whose body was found at her home on Queen's Hills estate on January 19.

The child was discovered with her 12-year-old sister Jasmin, father Bartlomiej Kuczynski, 45, and aunt Kanticha Sukpengpanao, 36.

The inquest openings – which took no longer than a minute each to be read – were heard consecutively at Norfolk Coroner’s Court, based at County Hall in Norwich, today. 

Ms Goward apologised to those in attendance at the hearing as she appeared to battle the tears when reading that schoolgirl Natasha died from stab wounds to the neck, before reaching for a tissue.

The medical cause of death given for Natasha was "sharp force injuries of the neck" and for Jasmin "incised wound of the neck". 

For Mr Kuczynki, born in Gostyn in Poland, and Ms Sukpengpanao - a businesswoman from Bangkok in Thailand - the medical cause of death was given as "stab wound to the neck".

Natasha was due to celebrate her 9th birthday next month on February 10.

Evidence was also given that a neighbour of two-and-a-half years, Louise Smith, identified each of the bodies at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital on January 24.

The coroner said that a report had been requested from the mental health trust.

Pre-inquest reviews will take place in April at the court.

Police believe Kuczynski murdered Ms Sukpengpanao, Jasmin and Natasha before taking his own life.

Norfolk Constabulary has referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), so the watchdog can investigate the force's dealings with the structural engineer on two earlier occasions.

One was just an hour before the bodies were found, when he had called 999 to express concerns about his mental state. No officers were sent to the address and he was instead advised to seek medical attention.

Five weeks earlier, officers had been involved in a search for Kuczynski after he was reported missing. He was found near his home and police accompanied him to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital for a full mental health assessment.

He left the site before one was carried out and the killings have also raised questions about whether the mental health services missed any opportunities to avoid the tragedy.

The Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has confirmed he was a patient and is conducting a "serious incident review" into its dealings with him.

The trust has a long history of poor performance, having been placed in special measures by the care regulator four times since it was formed in 2012.

The most recent data shows that 5,175 people in Norfolk and Waveney have been waiting longer than 18 weeks for its services, while earlier this year an extraordinary report into mortality data found there had been more than 8,000 "unexpected" deaths of its patients in the past three years alone.