Family's agony as east Belfast mum-of-six found dead in the bath
A devoted mother-of-six who had "a heart of gold" was found dead in the bath by her young son, writes Claire Graham
Julianne Thompson was discovered shortly after the school run on Thursday at 3.30pm in Invernook Park in east Belfast.
The 33-year-old's child, who is in Primary 7, ran to the next door neighbour's home screaming: "Mummy's dead in the bath, mummy's dead in the bath."
Neighbour Gemma Bennett (21), who was one of Mrs Thompson's best friends, ran to the bathroom to see the woman she described as "a beautiful, kind and loving mum" lifeless in the water, her lips already blue.
In frantic scenes Ms Thompson was pulled from the bath by her husband Keith, who desperately tried to resuscitate his wife while the family waited for an ambulance. The widower told the Belfast Telegraph she was "the love of his life".
"I have six wee babies in here that I need to console before I can think about anything else," he said. "She was the love of my life and I just can't believe it."
Her youngest child, a baby boy, has lost his mother at just 17 months old.
Yesterday the front yard was strewn with children's bikes and toys, while bunches of flowers were piled high against the front door in memory of the lost life.
A grieving family inside spent the previous 24 hours in shock at their loss. Close friends of Julianne were distraught at the news. Gemma, who witnessed the traumatic efforts to bring her friend back to life, said it was an image which she will never forget.
"I just couldn't stop crying last night, or sleep," she said.
"She's an amazing mum, does the homeworks with the kids, makes the dinner and loved each one of the wee ones with all her heart.
"You could never say a bad word about her; she loved having fun and her heart was made of gold."
"Keith was trying and trying to bring her back, but I knew by looking at her she'd been dead for hours."
Lisa Bennett (43) said Julianne was a special woman and a caring devoted mum. "She's just a natural mum. She will be missed by so many. I've no idea what the kids will do without her."