Tania's dad recalls happy little girl

SINCE Tania's death her father has spent many hours reflecting on his daughter's life and hoping good can come from his loss.He remembers Tania as a “happy little girl” with dreams of becoming a hairdresser and has looked back at the past with fond memories and sadness.

SINCE Tania's death her father has spent many hours reflecting on his daughter's life and hoping good can come from his loss.

He remembers Tania as a “happy little girl” with dreams of becoming a hairdresser and has looked back at the past with fond memories and sadness.

He said: “I was a lorry driver so I would see her at the weekends and midweek. All I know is that she was a happy little girl.

“I'd go into her room at her mum's and it was all tidy and she had her sea scouts uniform all pressed and ready to go.”

He spoke with sorrow about a time when Tania was on holiday as a young girl and she wrote him a letter.

Mr Duell said: “I've got a letter from Tania when she was about six or seven-years-old.

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“She says she's so excited, she's going to the discothèque tomorrow. She said 'I'm so excited, there's so much to do'.”

Although he wrote back saying he would be joining her on holiday, he did not go.

He added: “I read that letter out to her about three months ago and she couldn't even remember it.

“She was disappointed I wasn't there, she wrote on it 'I still love you Dad'. If that doesn't break you up nothing will.”

Mr Duell said it was as a teenager he believes his daughter was introduced to cannabis by a boyfriend.

This then led her to harder drugs which destroyed her dreams of becoming a hairdresser.

Her father would then only see her when she called at his home for a lift and said he would try to keep her there for as long as he could to chat.

He added: “She would come by here about once or twice a week to ask me for a lift to her mum's.

“We were mates. We were friends. But they won't talk to you like they would talk to their contemporaries.

“I was always just as nice to her as I ever could be.”

Mr Duell is now getting comfort for his loss from the church, family and friends.

He said he hopes he may be able to channel some of his grief into work to set up a safe house for drug users in the town.

He said he believes Tania tried to get some help for her addiction in Ipswich but said she needed to be taken away from the world of drugs in order to be free of her habit.

N If you knew Tania and would like to pay a tribute write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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