Pressure 'drove' tragic Lowestoft mother to her death, say family


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The Independent Online

A pregnant mother who fell to her death before her three children were discovered dead was “driven to her actions” after being under “too much pressure,” her family said.

Fiona Anderson died of severe head injuries on Monday morning after falling from height at a car park in Gordon Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk. 

The 21-year-old's children - named locally as Levina, three, Addy, two and 11-month-old Kyden- were later found dead the family home.

Ms Anderson's family said the mother-of-three had suffered from mental illness from a young age. 

In a the statement issued by Suffolk police, Ms Anderson's mother Kerry, father Michael and sisters, Claire and Laura, said Ms Anderson "was a beautiful, intelligent girl and a loving and caring person, but she had suffered from mental illness since she was young and we believe she was driven to her actions".

It said: "This was not our Fiona - she was not herself. She cared passionately about others but often brought stress on herself by caring too much. She was gentle but ended up under too much pressure.

"As a family we were close but she would often push us away, keen to do her own thing and not to listen when we offered support. Life was sometimes overwhelming for her.

"She was really popular but just didn't believe she was and had forgotten there were people there that could help her.

"We wish more had been done to recognise her mental health problems, which could be masked by her intelligence and creativity. She would often make costumes for the children, who she loved very much."

The statement was released after it emerged that Suffolk Police officers had visited Ms Anderson and spoken to her before she and her children died. Officers were called to her home in the early hours of Monday morning after receiving reports that the father of her children, Craig McLelland, had been stabbed by a man nearby.

Ms Anderson spoke to officers through and intercom but did not let them in.

Mr McLelland has since told police that the attack did not take place and he was wounded in Ms Anderson's home.

"As part of the investigation and in attempts to secure further information officers visited an address in London Road South in the early hours of Monday 15 April, where a woman was spoken with via the intercom system but officers were refused entry," a Suffolk Police spokeswoman said.

She added: "This woman later died, having been found in Gordon Road with severe head injuries.

"Further inquiries with the male victim yesterday established that the incident in Mill Road did not take place - but that there was an incident at the London Road South address in which he received a wound."

Mr McLelland wept as he left flowers outside the home where his children were found. He told gathered reporters to "get out of my face" as he left.

Suffolk Police said it had referred the case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and were attempting to follow Ms Anderson's last movements. An IPCC spokesman said he was aware of the referral. He added: "We will make a decision about the level of our involvement."

The night before Ms Anderson's death, she wrote on her Facebook page: "Mummy will keep you safe." Then in her last post she uploaded a picture of an ultrasound scan showing a baby and was believed to be due to give birth in June.

In other postings she said she would "never do anything to hurt my kids" adding that she wanted to "keep them safe and happy".

Ms Anderson was seen on CCTV wandering around Lowestoft holding a teddy bear early on Monday morning. She was spotted briefly attending a homeless hostel at around 6.20am.

She entered the car park at 7.55am and was found dead minutes later.

Detective Superintendent John Brocklebank, of the Norfolk and Suffolk Major Incident Team, said: "I would appeal to people who may have been out and about early on Monday morning to cast their minds back - and if they saw a woman matching this description, or stopped to speak to her, to get in touch."