Katherine Hooper's ex-partner facing trial over claims he assaulted tragic mum
14 Jul 2013 00:27
She jumped 100ft to her death from rocks at a beauty spot on Friday with her five-year-old son Josh on her shoulders
Once close: Katherine and Neil Patterson
The ex-partner of a woman who killed herself and their two children is due to go on trial for allegedly attacking her.
Katherine Hooper, 24, jumped 100ft to her death from rocks at a Devon beauty spot on Friday with her five-year-old son Josh Patterson on her shoulders.
The body of her youngest son, Samuel, two, was found at their home in Paignton. It is believed he had been suffocated.
It emerged yesterday that Katherine’s estranged partner Neil Patterson appeared in court in April accused of assaulting her.
He pleaded not guilty and is due back in court next month.
The incident is alleged to have taken place on April 28, the day before she went missing overnight for around 10 hours.
Katherine was said to be suffering from depression after the incident.
Killed: Sons Josh and Samuel
Neighbours said her boys were taken into foster care but were recently reunited with their mother.
A friend, Danielle Holland, said Katherine was allegedly attacked at her home and ran away and tried to kill herself.
She said: “She took an overdose and spent days in hospital. She ran to fields and was there for 24 hours. She got hypothermia.
“She was a really special amazing mum. One in a million.”
Neighbour Janette Nolan, 53, said: “I think Social Services are partly to blame.
“They should have been looking after Katherine rather than scrutinising her the whole time.
"She recently told me it was like they were waiting for her to slip up so they could take the kids away.
“I think she was frightened of her future and of being a single parent, but you would never have guessed she would ever have done anything like this.”
Family home: Where Samuel, 2, died
Devon and Cornwall Police have launched a murder-suicide inquiry and are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.
They wish to speak to anyone who was in the Haytor Rocks area on Friday.
Yesterday Devon and Cornwall police confirmed that Katherine, who worked at a hotel, was known to the welfare services.
A statement said: “The investigation will now be referred to a Serious Case Review process as per national good practice.”
Builder Neil, 52, issued a statement saying: “On Friday I heard the devastating news the three most important and cherished people in my life had been taken from me.
“I would appreciate for me and my family to be left alone to come to terms with this devastating loss and to grieve in peace.”
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