Norwich man Storey in court over murder of 'awesome' Northern Ireland mum Kerri McAuley
The grieving mother of a Northern Ireland mum-of-two whose death in England is being treated as murder has paid tribute to her “awesome” daughter.
Kerri McAuley (32) was killed at an address in Norwich on Sunday. A 26-year-old man, Joe Storey — who is understood to be her former partner — has been charged with her murder.
A post-mortem examination was inconclusive, but Norfolk Police said there was evidence that Ms McAuley had been subjected to a severe blunt force assault.
Yesterday, Storey appeared for a brief hearing at Norwich Crown Court by video-link from prison.
Wearing a grey tracksuit, he sat beside a prison officer and spoke only to confirm his name.
No pleas were taken and he was remanded in custody until a plea hearing at Norwich Crown Court on March 21.
The public gallery was full and three police officers stood in court, with Judge Stephen Holt praising those in attendance for their good behaviour and acknowledging that emotions were running high.
Ms McAuley’s mother, who asked not to be named, said in a written statement: “Words can’t describe the pain we are feeling at the untimely and horrific loss of our dearest Kerri.
“The love and support displayed by her family and friends is overwhelming and immensely comforting.
“This love and support is giving us the strength to help carry Kerri’s two beautiful boys through their loss, in their words, of the most awesome and everything mummy.”
A fundraising page which was set up by Ms McAuley’s friends — Kendall Jarrett and Laura A’dore — has raised more than £10,000 within days, almost twice the original target.
The two friends wrote: “Kerri was well-known in Norwich as a kind-hearted, soft spoken, crazy chick.
“She had a huge friend circle and loved by so many including her two young boys.”
They added: “We want to take some of the stress away from the family with raising some money for her funeral costs and help with her two sons, who luckily have a father who will be taking them on full-time.
“We love you Kerri, rest in paradise.”
Storey, whose address was given as Murrells Court in Norwich, is charged with having murdered Ms McAuley at an address in Southalls Way, Norwich, on January 8.
A provisional date for the trial has been set for June 5, 2017 at Norwich Crown Court.