Family's plea - watch for the signs of domestic violence

GRIEVING family of Kathryn Cook last night urged people to be aware of signs of domestic violence.

GRIEVING family of Kathryn Cook last night urged people to be aware of signs of domestic violence.

Kathleen and Philip Cook lost their beloved daughter on Saturday, eight months after a violent attack by ex-boyfriend Paul Northey left her in a coma.

The 44-year-old devoted mother-of-one never regained consciousness after Northey left her for dead in the assault at her home in Stanley, County Durham, last June. She was found seriously injured by her 11-year-old daughter Rebecca.

And as they paid tribute to their beloved daughter, Mr and Mrs Cook urged others to be vigilant if they saw signs of domestic abuse.

She died on Saturday at Bishop Auckland General Hospital, just three days after Northey was jailed for eight years for the attack. It is believed she was no longer able to fight off an infection despite being given antibiotics.

Kathryn Cook

Her parents, who live in Penshaw Gardens, Stanley, have vowed to keep their daughter’s memory alive. Kathleen, 69, said: “We never expected something like this to happen as she was doing so well.

“She was a very bubbly person and very friendly, she wouldn’t hurt anybody. She didn’t deserve any of this.

“Kathryn was a generous, kind and loving person. Although she was in a coma she knew when we were there and recognised our voices. She would grip Rebecca’s hand. She has battled for so long that it is still such a shock to us all.”

Each year the close-knit family spent holidays together at their favourite Spanish spot on the Costa Del Sol.

But three days after returning from their getaway last June Kathryn was beaten unconscious by Northey, 39, at her home. Having lived with the devastating consequences of domestic violence, her parents hope their warnings could help save others.

They urged other parents to save their children before they end up being attacked by someone they know.

Kathryn met Northey at a local pub around six years ago and Mrs Cook watched concerned as his behaviour changed.

She said: “He was all right. But he started to change about three years ago. I told her I didn’t like the way he was being with her.

“We had an idea, sometimes she used to try and hide the bruises, at times it would be her face and her neck other times it would be clumps of her hair.

“Each time I saw her it got worse and worse, even my son Michael said that one day he was going to put her in a hospital. We just couldn’t get through to her.

“If anyone has a daughter and sees the signs of them getting beaten up just try and get them out. They just brainwash them.”

Northey, of Wylam Road, Stanley, was jailed on January 14 after admitting causing grievous bodily harm with intent. He could now face fresh charges following Kathryn’s death.

Kathryn’s family are now having to wait for the outcome of a post mortem before they can make arrangements for their daughter’s funeral.


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