Victim's father tells of anguish

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The Independent Online
THE FATHER of a young mother found stripped and strangled with her jumper wept yesterday as he told how he broke the news to her eight- year-old son.

Peter Streader said identifying the body of his daughter Claire, 24, and then telling her son Benjamin were the two worst things he had ever done.

It emerged yesterday that Claire, a single mother, was hoping to move in with her boyfriend of 18 months, Lee Packman, a University of Kent chef. Mr Packman, 32, described Claire as a "brilliant person, a perfect mum and a perfect girlfriend".

He last saw her in Canterbury, Kent, at 6pm on Monday, less than 24 hours before her body was found close to her home in St Stephen's Park, naked below the waist and strangled with her jumper. Detectives believe she might have been the victim of a sex attacker who had raped one woman and tried to abduct two young women students in the previous five months in Canterbury.

Mr Streader, 56, told a press conference yesterday: "The two worst things which ever happened to me in my life have happened over the last few days.

"To have to go into a mortuary and identify your daughter's body and then go to tell my grandson his mum has died is terrible and no one else should have to do that."

Mr Streader and his wife, Ann, picked up Benjamin from a Cub camp on Wednesday morning to break the news. Repeatedly stopping to try to control his emotions, Mr Streader added: "It's too early to say what will happen to Ben but he is absolutely shattered. He says, `I want my mummy, I want my mummy,' and not to be able to bring his mummy to him is absolutely devastating.

"She's just a wonderful daughter. She's the most loving, caring person that I know and she and Ben were absolutely devoted to each other."

She had spent her last night drinking in several pubs in Canterbury. She was last seen by friends at about 10pm.