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‘Beyond heartbroken’: Family tribute to mum-of-three as man charged with murder

PUBLISHED: 16:24 21 June 2020 | UPDATED: 16:57 22 June 2020

Gemma Cowey, often known as Gemma Lynne Marjoram, died in Thorpe St Andrew. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Gemma Cowey, often known as Gemma Lynne Marjoram, died in Thorpe St Andrew. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

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A heartbroken family has paid tribute to a mum-of-three who died after being fatally stabbed in the grounds of a former hospital in Thorpe St Andrew.

Police at the derelict site of the former St Andrew's Hospital where a woman died in Thorpe St Andrew. Picture: East Anglian News ServicePolice at the derelict site of the former St Andrew's Hospital where a woman died in Thorpe St Andrew. Picture: East Anglian News Service

Gemma Cowey, also known as Gemma Lynne Marjoram, was discovered near the former St Andrew’s Hospital after police were called to the site on Northside, off Yarmouth Road, at about 12.45pm on Friday.

Paramedics, including the air ambulance, attended the scene but the 38-year-old mum-of-three from Norwich was pronounced dead despite receiving treatment.

A Home Office post mortem examination has since established she died as a result of stab wounds.

Police at the derelict site of the former St Andrew's Hospital where a woman died in Thorpe St Andrew. Picture: East Anglian News ServicePolice at the derelict site of the former St Andrew's Hospital where a woman died in Thorpe St Andrew. Picture: East Anglian News Service

Her family said in a statement: “Our beautiful girl, Gemma Lynne Marjoram, was cruelly taken from our lives on Friday, June 19.

“Gemma, a devoted mummy to three children, Kacie, Callum and Abigail. Loving big sister to Joanne and Kimberley. We are beyond heartbroken. We have no more words.”

Michael Cowley, 48, of Dragoon Close, Norwich, was arrested in the Warwickshire area later on Friday on suspicion of murder and charged on Sunday night to appear at Norwich Magistrates’ court on Monday.

Police seal off part of Northside in Thorpe St Andrew as part investigation into the death of a woman. Picture: East Anglian News ServicePolice seal off part of Northside in Thorpe St Andrew as part investigation into the death of a woman. Picture: East Anglian News Service

The derelict hospital, which was first known as the Norfolk County Asylum, opened in 1814 and operated as a mental health facility until it closed in 1998.

Despite previous plans to turn the site into a business park the buildings remain empty and derelict.

The site is next to the current Northside House mental health clinic run by the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation NHS Trust.

Police at the derelict site of the former St Andrew's Hospital where a woman died in Thorpe St Andrew. Picture: East Anglian News ServicePolice at the derelict site of the former St Andrew's Hospital where a woman died in Thorpe St Andrew. Picture: East Anglian News Service

Police said there was no link between the incident and Northside House, formerly known as the Norvic Clinic.

Detective Inspector Lewis Craske, from the Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team, said: “Our thoughts are with Gemma’s family and friends at this time. Officers have established that Gemma and the suspect were known to each other and whilst we do believe this is an isolated incident, our investigations are ongoing to identify the exact circumstances leading up to her death.

“I am keen to hear from anyone who was in the area of the old hospital in Thorpe St Andrew between 11am and 1pm on Friday, June 19, particularly anyone who may have seen a male and female walking near to the site.

“We know this incident will have caused concern among local residents. Officers will be carrying out reassurance patrols in the area over the coming days.”

Anyone with information should contact the Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team on 101.


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