Heartbroken family pay tribute to 'shining star' after murder
- Credit: Supplied
You will always be our shining star.
She was stabbed to death in June near a former mental health hospital at Thorpe St Andrew.
A statement released by her mother Linda Smith, 60, on behalf of the family, including Gemma’s sisters Joanne, 35, and Kimberley, 27, said: “We are standing as strong as we can and gaining a little comfort from the fact that you are now free from harm and that you cannot be hurt anymore.
“The peace and joy of living was robbed from you over the last seven years of your life.
“We are devastated that you never got the chance to pursue the life you were so looking forward to.
“Your new deserving life was so full of promise and happiness, we were imagining how you would finally be free, to live your life with us, your family, who love you and care for you.
You will always be our shining star. We love you more than words can say.”
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Miss Smith said her heart sank when police arrived to tell her the tragic news.
She said: "You feel like you're watching a horror film. I just said 'he's done it, he's killed her, my god, he's killed her'."
Born in 1981, Gemma grew up in Lowestoft.
Her mum and dad, Eric, split when she was just five, but the family later moved to Norwich via Carlton Colville.
After attending Sir John Leman High School in Beccles, Gemma went to Norwich City College where she studied accounting.
She had also studied travel and tourism but after leaving she got a job at Aviva and worked there for almost 10 years.
She later went to work with her then-partner at a vehicle bodyshop in Attleborough, travelling to places including Dubai and Monaco for work.
Miss Smith said: “She had an amazing life."
Gemma had her first child and was keen to have another, but the couple split. She later met Cowey.
At her funeral earlier this year, Miss Smith paid tribute to Gemma, stating that her children would “thrive” and live “happy lives”.
She said: “Your children are now free as you are now free. I pray that you feel comfort in my words."