'It is emotional' - Mother of murdered Kerri McAuley tells of delight at new garden in her memory
PUBLISHED: 15:35 16 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:35 16 November 2019
A garden in memory of a Norwich mother-of-two brutally murdered by her violent ex-partner has been completed at a refuge for victims of domestic violence.
Kerri McAuley, 32, suffered 19 injuries to her head and face following an attack by Joe Storey who then left her to die in her Southalls Way home in January 2017.
Following the fatal attack and the conviction of Storey in the summer of 2017 the EDP launched Kerri's Campaign in her memory to raise £10,000 to kit out Leeway's new domestic violence safe house in memory of her.
It took just over a month from the campaign's launch, in November 2017, to raise £11,000 for the charity which has now completed a garden at a safe house in her memory.
Kerri's mother Lesley, 55, visited the garden on what would have been her daughter's 35th birthday.
She said it was "very emotional" but insisted the garden was "lovely".
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She said: "I did come away and shed a tear.
"It is emotional but its also it's a positive. You can see the women out in the garden going for a cigarette. That's where they go and get their peace and her (Kerri) memory is there.
"Women who go there will be able to ask who Kerri is and find out about her story.
"It might help them to realise that what they are doing is the best thing for themselves and the children to carry on and go through that process to get away."
Lesley plans to return in the summer when the garden is in "full bloom" and plant a rose bush in her daughter's memory.
Raising awareness of Kerri's legacy and spreading awareness of domestic abuse are hugely important to Lesley as she approaches Christmas and the third anniversary of her daughter's death early in the new year.
Mandy Proctor, Leeway chief executive, said: "We are delighted with the transformation of the safe house garden, which has gone from being a dull area with weeds and overgrown plants to a colourful and vibrant space. The garden area is a great place for the women to sit and reflect." She added: "I would like to thank everyone that supported the campaign in any way, ensuring that Kerri's legacy continues to support women and children in Norfolk that are experiencing domestic abuse."