Dartmoor Haytor deaths: Family and friends pay tribute

  • 15 July 2013
  • From the section Devon
Katherine Hooper, Joshua (r), Samuel (l)
Image caption Katherine Hooper's family said she and her sons were "greatly loved"
Samuel and Joshua Patterson
Image caption Joshua Patterson (R), pictured with his brother Samuel (L) was described as "constantly happy"
Katherine Hooper, Joshua (r), Samuel (l)
Image caption The family was known to social services
Katherine Hooper's house
Image caption Flowers and cards have been left outside Ms Hooper's home in Paignton
Image caption Joshua attended Roselands Primary School in Paignton

The family of a woman who died in a fall on Dartmoor have said the deaths of her and her two young sons have left them "devastated".

Katherine Hooper, 24, and Joshua Patterson, five, died after falling 80-100ft (24-30m) at Haytor on Friday.

A murder investigation was launched after Ms Hooper's son Samuel, two, was found dead at her home in Paignton.

Devon and Cornwall Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.

In a statement, Ms Hooper's family said: "We are finding it very hard to come to terms with the tragic deaths of Katherine, Josh and Sam.

"All were greatly loved and their deaths have left us devastated."

The family described themselves as a "strong family unit".

Joshua Patterson was a pupil at Roselands Primary School in Paignton.

Debbie Main, the head teacher, said: "We are all extremely shocked and saddened by this tragic news.

"Joshua was an amazing little boy whose bubbly personality and huge smile brightened everyone's day."

Rebecca Waldron, the mother of Joshua's best friend Liam, told BBC News: "He was a lovely, bubbly, smiling little boy, constantly happy."

She said her son, five, had been "really upset" by his friend's death and when she spoke to Ms Hooper last week she seemed "perfectly fine".

Serious case review

The body of Samuel Patterson was discovered at Ms Hooper's home at Dukes Close on Friday.

The family were known to social services and a serious case review has been launched into their care.

Ms Hooper's former partner, Neil Patterson, 52, was charged with attacking her in April.

Mr Patterson, formerly of Dukes Close, appeared before Torbay Magistrates' Court on 30 April where he pleaded not guilty to assault by beating Ms Hooper on 28 April and was remanded on bail.

On Friday, following the fall, he said he was "devastated" that the "three most important and cherished people in my life had been taken from me".

Ms Hooper was the subject of a police search earlier in the year after she went missing for 24 hours.

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