Paula Clennell's family's statement

PAULA Clennell's family have said she was a kind, caring person who will never be forgotten.Miss Clennell's sister and mother released statements via police today, speaking of their love for her and their devastation about the way she was killed.

Naomi Cassidy

PAULA Clennell's family have said she was a kind, caring person who will never be forgotten.

Miss Clennell's sister and mother released statements via police today, speaking of their love for her and their devastation about the way she was killed.

The 24-year-old was reported missing on Monday, December 11, and her naked body was found the following day at Levington. She was last seen alive on Sunday December 10.

At 3.05pm that day a member of the public reported seeing a body of a woman near to the Old Felixstowe Road. Police responded immediately and the crew of the Suffolk Police helicopter saw a second naked body 150 metres away. Later the bodies were confirmed to be Paula Clennell and Annette Nicholls.

The cause of death was compression to the neck.

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Miss Clennell's sister Alice said in a statement:

“I can still remember the day Paula was born. She was a little pink bundle of joy. I loved her so much-every time someone tried looking at her, I told them “that's my baby!”

“I used to help my mum with everything. I was three and a half years old and we would sit in front of our coal fire with a large blue bowl and bathe her. We named her the pink panther. We were happy children. Paula was always more mischievous though. As we grew up we did many things together-horse riding, dancing in the street with the ghetto blaster, dressing up as mega fat people and going to the pizza shop. It was all good fun and she was such a good laugh. Anywhere Paula was, you could always hear her laughing. She was such a comedian.

“Paula and I were like chalk and cheese, but the one special thing we shared was friendship.

Before she fell victim to drugs, we were very close. We didn't even need to talk, just a certain look would do the job, and the laughs we used to have are the moments that are unforgettable.

“Paula was forced to leave this world but she is in a much better one now. She is clean and pure-that has always been her dream, to feel free. Spread your wings darling, go wherever you please, so now in the presence of everyone here, I make a promise to live my life for my sister.

“Paula. I will always love you.

“Paula was a bright and loving person. She would do anything for anyone. She had a very bubbly personality. As children we were very close but in our teens we drifted, due to our different interests, but when we were in our late teens, we rekindled that closeness and whatever we did, we always had a good laugh.

“Paula did have her problems and torment, of which some go back into her childhood, which she could not shake out of her head. I know that's why she ended up turning to drugs, but in our deep conversations, she used to wish for the complete opposite. She knew deep down inside she was trapped. She did try many times to get help but there's just not enough support out there. My mother, her partner, my husband and I tried the tough love trick but it never worked. It just makes you feel worse. The last time I saw my sister was by a complete fluke. I bumped into Paula on the estate where I live. She was really loving towards me, full of regards to all the family. When we parted, she stroke my face and said “Love you sis, see you soon. I'll call ya”.

“We never did see each other again. The next time I saw her was when we had to identify her body.

I know it's hard to accept someone with an addiction, or even try and support them, but turning my back was the worst thing I have ever done. At the end of the day, these people need love and support and there is nothing out there for them.

“Maybe the Somebody's Daughter campaign can help some young mothers and girls who have gone off the path because once they're gone, they cannot get back on their own. We need more done to help them.

I would like to send my regards to all the girl's families and say stay strong, justice will be done.”

Miss Clennell's mother, Isabella Clennell, said: “Paula was born on Sunday January 24, ay 1.50am. 7lbs 7ozs. She had big blue eyes and she was smiling at me. Paula was a very intelligent and quick-thinking toddler and she had bags of energy. She was always running around and getting up to mischief. She loved to dress up and do all the girlie things-like putting make-up on and cutting her own hair. She also liked playing on her bikes and scooter, digging the garden, picking flowers, painting the car with white emulsion, putting fairy liquid in the fish tank and also painting on the front step, window sills, back garden lawn and herself a lovely pillar box red gloss. She was my bundle of joy.

“Our family had so much fun when Paula was around.

“Paula loved going to her school in Scremerston, Berwick-Upon-Tweed, Northumberland. As she grew up, school was not her favourite pastime. She found it very unsettling, but her lovely friendly nature shone through all the dark clouds in her life. I can't remember Paula ever having a bad word or anything nasty to say anyone or anything.

She accepted all the nasty things that had ever happened in her life. She took everything in her stride, she was such a brave person. Ever so gentle and loving, her family came first every time.

“As she got older her personal life got into a bit of a muddle, as life does to a lot of people, and Paula was introduced to the terrible drug heroin. That stuff just must have got such a hold on my daughter, and she found it ever so difficult to get clean from it.

“Paula did try her best in everything she did and I am very proud of her. She is a person that cannot be replaced. She loved family life ever so much. We often talked of the future. She had so many plans, hopes, dreams and all our family can do now is try to live those dreams for Paula. She was a kind, caring person, who will never be forgotten. Our family are devastated about the way Paula was taken from us.”