‘Zack was her way of life’: family tributes to devoted mum, 18

A heartbroken mum has told of her “mischievous, fun-loving” daughter, who blossomed into a beautiful young woman and devoted mother before her tragic death aged 18.

Lucy Humphries, of Wells-next-the-Sea, died on March 3, and a Norfolk Coroner’s Court on Monday concluded it was an “alcohol-related death”.

Following the inquest, her mother Lisa Humphries said she was still heartbroken.

Mrs Humphries, 45, said: “We would laugh so much. She was more like a soul mate, a best friend.

“She was very sensible, caring and just loving, and had grown into the most beautiful young lady.”

Her stepfather Gary Yarham said Lucy was “the most caring, considerate young lady” who he was proud to say was his stepdaughter.

He said: “She wore her heart on her sleeve but if you disagreed with her you would soon see the iron lady. That’s why I love her so much and she will be forever in my heart.”

Mrs Humphries said when she was growing up Lucy was “the most adorable child”, who was known for being mischievous and playing pranks on her sisters.

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Lucy attended Heacham Infant and Junior School, and went on to Smithdon High School at Hunstanton.

Mrs Humphries said at school she was described as: “A very bright and intelligent girl enjoying her education.”

She said Lucy was the “apple of the eye” of her grandparents Brian and Helen.

“They used to take her to lots of different places, also spoiling her as best they could, creating wonderful memories as doting grandparents,” she said.

“Brian had many names for his Lucy, including my little cherub and Lucy Locket.”

But Lucy was devastated when Brian died when she was nine years old.

“This was a huge setback for her as it was for the whole family,” Mrs Humphries said.

“Lucy, being strong-minded and determined, continued life as best she could supporting her family as she always did in her lovely way.”

Mrs Humphries said the children had a “fun, happy and secure” childhood and had grown up close to each other.

She said: “Living so close to the sea, there were many family trips to enjoying quality time amongst the sand, sea and fresh air, and the all-too-familiar ice cream moments on the prom.

“Butlin’s was a hot favourite as well, and there were many day trips with the grandparents in the motor home.”

Lucy would often meet her sister after school, and they would go to the beach “where they could just relax and talk about life”.

The girls would make TikTok videos together and Lucy would “do the actions and make them laugh”.

She would also pick up her little brother from school and take him to the park.

“In the wintertime would take him to the amusements. He loved the fact they shared the same birthday. He always looked up to her,” Mrs Humphries said.

Mrs Humphries said Christmas was another favourite time for the family, although she was “horrified” when Lucy would cover her dinner in salad cream instead of gravy.

When she was 16 Lucy and a previous boyfriend had a little boy, Zack, who is now aged two.

Mrs Humphries said: “Lucy took to motherhood like a duck to water. It was also a defining moment in her character and nature, Zack became her way of life.”

Mrs Humphries said Lucy also loved spending time with her uncle Darren. After he had taught her to drive she would drive him to McDonald’s on Friday nights “where they would order two of everything”.

Lucy later moved to live with her mum and stepfather in Wells.

Mrs Humphries said she was disappointed with the outcome of the inquest. She said she felt it did not get to the bottom of what happened the night before Lucy’s death, when she had been drinking with her boyfriend in her bedroom. She said she felt “ignored and devastated” and planned to take the issue further with the police and hospital authorities.

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