‘How could they have seen what they did and just leave her?’ - Melissa Liddle’s family say they will not give up on seeking answers

South Shields mum Melissa Liddle was stabbed 41 times.
South Shields mum Melissa Liddle was stabbed 41 times.

The heartbroken family of two siblings who died tragically say they will not give up seeking answers over their deaths.

Last year, Tracey Keighley’s world came crashing down when her daughter Melissa Liddle was discovered dead in her bed on Mother’s Day.

The 23-year-old who had been stabbed 41 times was found by her brother Liam Bush and stepfather David Keighley after the pair broke their way into her home in Oak Avenue, South Shields.

Mum Tracey, who was on the phone to them at the time, had to listen to the harrowing events unfold on her mobile phone.

Months later, 21-year-old Liam took his own life, unable to live with the images of his sister on that fateful day.

Melissa’s partner Anthony Ross – the father of her two children – was handed an indefinite hospital order at Newcastle Crown Court, last week, after a guilty plea of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibilty was accepted by the courts, last year.

How could they have seen what they did and just leave her?

Tracey Keighley

During sentencing it was revealed that both Ross’s father and uncle had found Melissa’s butchered body earlier in the day but failed
to contact emergency services.

Instead, they arranged for the killer to have an appointment with a solicitor.

The action of the pair has led to public outrage and demands they are both brought to task.

However, both the police and Crown Prosecution Service say that legally they have done nothing wrong by failing to call the emergency services.

Melissa Liddle mother Tracey Keighley speaks to the Shields Gazette

Melissa Liddle mother Tracey Keighley speaks to the Shields Gazette

Tracey said: “When I was told they had found Melissa and just walked out the house and left her there, I just couldn’t get my head around it.

“How could they have seen what they did and just leave her? And then to have no action taken against them for what they did.

“It was like I had gone 
crazy, I couldn’t understand it.

“However, when the judge read out in court what they’d done and it was made public, everyone had the same opinion as me.

“No one can understand how they are not having any action taken against them -–is the justice system saying if you discover a dead body, especially where it is clear a crime has been committed, you can just ignore it? You don’t need to tell anyone?

“They told me they didn’t do anything because they were in shock.

“But it wasn’t a delay of a few minutes, you are talking about hours between them finding her and eventually going to the police station.

“Hearing my son shouting ‘paramedic, paramedic’ and rushing to give his sister CPR – that is shock, that is an instant reaction any normal person would have, not to walk out of the property and make an appointment with a solicitor.

“It is just wrong and I am glad everyone else thinks so too because now I don’t feel like the crazy one.”

Tracey added: “The support my family has received throughout all of this has been amazing, we really can’t thank the public enough. When Melissa was killed, we became so distrustful. I always thought I had a good gut instinct but I was wrong and that made me not want to trust anyone.

“Then when Liam died, I was so worried people would judge him for what he done. That was really hard for me and really worried me,

“Liam told me how he just couldn’t get the image of Melissa lying there with her eyes open out of his head.

“He just kept saying when he was doing CPR that her eyes felt like they were looking straight through him.

“There are so many questions I need answering and I will not rest until I get them.”

A spokeswoman for Northumbria Police said: “The circumstances around the discovery of the body were considered. However, no offence had been committed.”