Friend's sadness over Gemma's murder

A COLLEGE friend of murdered Gemma Adams today remembered her as a warm, kind and modest woman.Terri Till, 25, of Wainwright way, Kesgrave, met Gemma when they both started a GNVQ course in health and social care at Suffolk College in 1997.

A COLLEGE friend of murdered Gemma Adams today remembered her as a warm, kind and modest woman.

Terri Till, 25, of Wainwright way, Kesgrave, met Gemma when they both started a GNVQ course in health and social care at Suffolk College in 1997.

The pair became good friends and formed a close group with two other girls on the course.

Gemma left after completing the one-year course while her three friends stayed on for another two years to gain an advanced GNVQ qualification.

Mrs Till said Gemma, who was known among the group simply as Gem, left a lasting impression on her as a kind and warm-hearted person.

“I always remember that she never used to wear a lot of make up but always looked so beautiful and was always smiling,” she said.

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“We became friends straight away because we just got on with each other.

“We had the same sense of humour.”

Gemma disappeared in the early hours of November 15 from the West End Road area. Her body was found last Saturday in a brook at Hintlesham.

Mrs Till visited an area close to Ipswich's Red Light district yesterday where Gemma was last seen to lay a floral tribute to her friend at the junction of Handford Road and West End Road

She said: “I just wanted to pay my respects to Gemma and give people somewhere they can come and pay tribute to Gemma as well.

“I felt I had to do something.”

Mrs Till said her memory of Gemma was that she could be a private person at times and feels she may have left the course after gaining her GNVQ qualification because she wasn't sure what she wanted to do with her life.

In July 1998 the students on the course held an end of year celebration in college which proved to be a farewell to Gemma.

Mrs Till said the memories of that day still make her smile.

“It was like a big goodbye really,” she said.

“We had all taken in a bit of vodka which we shouldn't have done. I think Gemma sneaked some in from home.

“It was a really great day. We were all so happy back then.

“When you're that age you don't seem to have any problems.

“Gemma certainly never seemed stressed.

“She didn't have a boyfriend at the time, which none of us could understand because she was so pretty.

“She was a very modest person.”

Mrs Till said news of Gemma's disappearance had rocked her to the core.

Despite not maintaining a close relationship with Gemma after she left college the pair would still speak whenever they bumped into each other.

She said: “I have been getting the paper every day and read about Tania going missing and knew Gemma was doing prostitution but didn't really think about it.

“I couldn't believe it when I heard that she had gone missing as well.

“It hurts me when people talk of her as a prostitute because I will always remember her as my friend Gem.

“I was absolutely gutted when I heard the news her body had been found.

“I just hope the police catch whoever did this.”

To pay your own tribute to Gemma visit the online book of condolence at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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