Belfast Telegraph

Friend's tearful tribute to Ulster mum Comrie Cullen stabbed to death in Australia

By Rebecca Black

A friend of a Co Down woman found stabbed to death in Australia has spoken tearfully of her warmth and kindness.

Bangor-born mother-of-three Comrie Cullen was discovered by members of the public on Wednesday slumped beside a car in a remote car park at an angling club on the outskirts of Sydney, just a few miles from her home.

Her estranged husband Christopher Cullen was later discovered by police walking in a nearby mangrove swamp with self-inflicted wounds to his arms and chest.

Mrs Cullen had left her husband last October and in November had been granted a restraining order by the courts.

Last night he remained under police guard in hospital. New South Wales Police said they were investigating the incident and were liaising with the PSNI.

Mrs Cullen's family are understood to be travelling from Bangor to Sydney to take care of the couple's three children aged five, seven and 11.

Speaking from Australia yesterday, friend Renee tearfully recalled her beauty therapist friend and the shock at her death.

She described Mrs Cullen as "very, very welcoming and engaging", and said her children have been "robbed".

"Within moments of knowing Comrie she would be shining about her children and so we found common ground very quickly, discussing education, preschools, what our plans were for our children and delight in exchanging stories about them," she told the BBC.

"She was a very, very welcoming and engaging person, very kind and sweet.

"Going through circumstances in my own personal life, I can remember times when I had felt distressed, and she was just so warm and intuitive, and would immediately have had her arms around me saying genuine words of comfort. She was just a lovely, lovely kind of person.

"I was always left with the impression of how fortunate her children were."

Renee said the area had been shocked and horrified by the incident.

"This is a place we would be driving past every day in our travels," she said.

"So when we heard a woman had been found in the circumstances that she had been it was shocking, people were talking about it locally everywhere. It wasn't until just hours ago I was sitting at home and someone sent me a link to the story, then I saw her face, I could not explain, I know this person's voice, the sound of her laughter, her accent, the way she would pronounce her children's names. It was just overwhelming to take in that it was actually her.

"My first thought was for her children, then the beautiful person I had known. Her children have been robbed."

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