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‘Emotional but beautiful at the same time’ - surprise fundraising day held for murdered Norwich woman

PUBLISHED: 22:09 30 September 2018 | UPDATED: 22:40 30 September 2018

Picture of Kerri McAuley. Submitted by Kerri's family.

Picture of Kerri McAuley. Submitted by Kerri's family.

Archant

A surprise fundraising day has been held in memory of a Norwich woman who was murdered by her former partner.

Kerri McAuley alongside her mother Lesley. Picture: courtesy of McAuley family Kerri McAuley alongside her mother Lesley. Picture: courtesy of McAuley family

Kerri McAuley, 32, suffered 19 injuries to her head and face following a “sustained and brutal” attack by her former partner and serial abuser Joe Storey, who then left her to die alone in her Norwich home.

A surprise fundraising day to remember Ms McAuley - and raise funds for domestic abuse charity Leeway - has been held at the Boundary pub in Norwich.

The event was organised by Andy Williams, Ms McAuley’s former partner and father to her two children, and came as a complete surprise to Kerri’s mum Lesley.

She said: “It was a fantastic surprise.

L – R: Alex Atkinson – Leeway, Lesley'’s brother Paul Roberts, Andrew Williams, Lesley McAuley, Jonathan Childs – Landlord (Boundary), Annie Reilly – Friend, Elissa Draper – LeewayL – R: Alex Atkinson – Leeway, Lesley'’s brother Paul Roberts, Andrew Williams, Lesley McAuley, Jonathan Childs – Landlord (Boundary), Annie Reilly – Friend, Elissa Draper – Leeway

“They had all helped keep it secret from me but it was a great surprise.

“I actually thought I was going there with my friend...it was a shock.

“It was emotional but it was beautiful at the same time.”

The surprise event, which was held on Saturday, September 22, included a raffle which raised more than £250 for Norfolk-based domestic abuse charity Leeway.

There was also a tree where people could write and leave messages in memory of Ms McAuley.

Her mum said the event had helped to give her a boost as she continues to try to come to terms with the tragedy.

She said: “He (Mr Williams) just wanted me to realise that no-one has forgotten about her and to pick me up and make me realise that she’s still loved so much.”

Mandy Proctor, chief executive officer of domestic abuse charity Leeway, said: “I would like to thank everyone who helped to put on this fabulous fun day in memory of Kerri McAuley and I hope it was a nice surprise for Lesley too.”

She added: “Thank you to all of Kerri’s family and friends for their continued support of Leeway in raising both funds and awareness of domestic abuse.”

Mr Williams said: “From the people that were able to attend to the generosity of the prizes donated to the fun that was had I could not have asked for a better day to commemorate the wonderful mother of my children.

“It was also a way I could show Kerri’s mother and family, including our beautiful sons, that she is never just a memory as she will always be loved by so many and her name now stands for positive change which is why I got leeway involved in organising Kerri’s Day.”

In June last year Storey was jailed for a minimum of 24 years after being found guilty of Ms McAuley’s murder in January last year.

Following the fatal attack, and Storey’s conviction, the EDP and Norwich Evening News launched Kerri’s Campaign in her memory which helped raise more than £11,000 to help kit out Leeway’s new domestic violence safe house.

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