When the police checked on a vulnerable autistic man at his home it was hoped that the officer’s first thoughts would be for his safety.
But after kicking down his door Christopher Laskaris’s family claim that the police left his home unsecured for five days, allowing a dangerous drug dealer just out of prison on licence to walk in and stab him to death.
Mr Laskaris's killer is serving a life sentence behind bars, but now his family are fighting for answers about how and why they believe those who were meant to protect him failed him in the lead up to his death.
A two day inquest is due to be heard at Wakefield Coroner’s Court this week, but whilst West Midlands police and other public bodies will have the full support of a taxpayer funded legal team, Mr Laskaris's mother Fiona and sister Cara are denied legal aid.
Instead the family have been forced to try and crowdfund £10,000 to pay for their legal representation.
The police deny that they left whilst the home was not secure. But it was boarded up with no way to open it, meaning that Mr Laskaris had to move the board or sleep on the streets.
The family hope that with the right help the inquest can "shine a light" on the preventable circumstances that led to his death and stop anyone else going through what they have.
But they fear that the "inequality of arms" will mean that taxpayers money is spent "covering up failings" which will help no one.
"This is the worst thing that you can put a family through," Ms Laskaris said.
"Losing a loved one in such a horrible way you would think is the worst thing that can happen, but since then it has just got worse and worse."
Her brother, a former pupil at Charterhouse School in Surrey was a "bright, but very vulnerable, young man" who had moved out of the family home in Surrey and was living alone more than 200 miles away in Leeds, West Yorkshire.
He had periods of mental health crisis and he and his family were battling to get specialist support which he "tragically never received" by the time of his death in November 2016.
It was during a moment of mental health crisis that the police broke his door down to check on him. The family said: "Despite knowledge of his risk history and vulnerability, he was then left without a secure front door for 5 days.
"During this period, a violent criminal and his girlfriend wandered into Christopher’s home and began grooming and exploiting him.
"Because of his Aspergers, Christopher was very trusting of everyone he met, and would have thought they were his friends. This was to have tragic consequences.
"At the age of 24, Christopher was murdered in his own home, by that criminal."
Drug addict Philip Craig, 40, had a long criminal record had just been released from prison on licence and housed near Mr Laskaris’s flat when he befriended him and killed him.
Ms Laskaris said that there remain questions for the community rehabilitation team who were overseeing Craig’s release as well as for the police and the mental health and social services teams who should have been supporting him.
"There is a huge hole in the centre of our family, and the pain will be with us for the rest of our lives,” the family said.
"We never dreamt that we would find ourselves in this position, coping with a traumatic and tragic loss, and now having to raise large sums of money to fund our legal representation through the inquest process, the sole purpose of which is to get the answers we so badly need, and justice for Christopher."
Against the wishes of the family coroner has refused to hold an Article 2 inquest, which would have seen a jury looking at abuses of human rights and would have allowed the Laskaris’ access to legal aid. Deborah Coles, the director of the charity Inquest, said: "This is an example of the inherent unfairness in funding that bereaved families face in complex inquests.
"These families want to get answers as to how and why their relative died but also as a society we can learn. The inquest has an important preventative role, if it can look properly at these issues the hopefully in the future lives can be saved.
"As a society we have a responsibility to make sure that death’s like Christopher’s matter and that they are taken seriously."
The charity is campaigning for non-means tested legal aid for families at complex inquests.
A West Midlands Police spokesman said: "Officers gained entry to Christopher Laskaris’s property on Oct 8 after receiving a call of concern over an ongoing incident and stayed at the property until it was secured.
"He was a vulnerable adult who was deliberately targeted by Philip Craig, a known drug dealer and drug user. Our thoughts remain with Christopher’s family.
"Due to the pending inquest, it would be inappropriate to comment further."