Relatives: We feel for Nicola's mother

RELATIVES of murder accused Rob McCarry today told of their sympathy for the family of the woman he is alleged to have killed.

RELATIVES of murder accused Rob McCarry today told of their sympathy for the family of the woman he is alleged to have killed.

Rita Spaldings, McCarry's mother, said she could not begin to contemplate what the family of 34-year-old Nicola West was going through.

Fighting back tears, she said: “It is the mother of the girl I feel truly sorry for. She is the one that needs the comfort.

“I can't help feel for her. If someone told me my daughter was dead I wouldn't take it lying down - God knows what is going through her (Ms West's mother's) head.”

Ms West, of Leather Bottle Hill, Little Blakenham, was found dead in the boot of a green Ford Escort at Ipswich police station on Saturday evening.

At the opening of an inquest into her death today it was revealed she was naked except for her bra.

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Giving evidence at the inquest at Suffolk County Council's Endeavour House headquarters, Detective Inspector Alan Seaman from Ipswich police said that she had been reported missing last Friday by her fiancé after failing to return home. She had last been seen on Thursday afternoon when she caught a taxi from her home address to Ipswich.

DI Seaman said: “At around 10.35pm (on Saturday) two men from the Ipswich area presented themselves at the front desk, one disclosed that he had a body of a woman in their car, a green Ford Escort parked on the forecourt of the police station”.

He said police then searched the car and found the body of a woman. Both men were arrested on suspicion of murder.

A Home Office pathologist carried out a post mortem on Ms West's body and it was established that she died of strangulation. Officers are investigating whether she died during a sex game.

DI Seaman said her body remained at the mortuary at Ipswich Hospital while further tests were carried out.

Greater Suffolk coroner Doctor Peter Dean said: “My thoughts are very much with the family and all those close to Nicola West at this time.”

McCarry, of Vernon Street, Ipswich, and friend Paul Waters, 28, of Sandpiper Road, Ipswich, have been charged with Ms West's murder and with perverting the course of justice.

Thomas Balls, 37, McCarry's brother today said the whole family was struggling to come to terms with what has happened.

He said: “People keep asking me questions about it but he is still my brother and she (Ms West) was still someone's poor daughter.”

Ms Spaldings, 56, who lives in the Old Stoke area of Ipswich, said she could not sleep and her health had suffered since she learnt of her 35-year-old son's arrest.

She added: “I shall be at every court hearing with him and stick by him and see him through this because, at the end of the day, he is my son and my children mean the world to me.”

“That boy has got a heart of gold and he will do anything for anyone. I can't take this all in, I really can't.”

McCarry and Wright are next due in court on February 22 when they will appear at Ipswich Crown Court.

Do you want to pay tribute to Ms West? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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