Tragic parents of Sophie Atay, who died of cancer aged two, at centre of murder investigation after stabbing

A woman is due in court today to face a charge of murder.
A woman is due in court today to face a charge of murder.

The tragic parents of a little girl who died of cancer aged just two are at the centre of a murder investigation.

Atakan Atay, 45, suffered stab wounds at his home on Jasmine Terrace, Birtley, Gateshead, on Thursday night.

Paramedics battled to save him but he died a short time later.

Helena Karine Atay, 42, also of Jasmine Terrace, has now been charged with his murder and is due to appear before Magistrates in Newcastle later today.

The pair were the tragic parents of Sophie Atay who died at the age of two after a fight with Neuroblastoma.

Sophie captured the hearts of the nation including Simon Cowell when she was diagnosed with a severe form of the disease in 2009.

A fundraising drive was launched to send her to America for life saving treatment but the family was left devastated when she lost her race against time and passed away the following ear.

Police say Atakan's next of kin have now been informed and they are receiving specialist support from officers.

Senior investigating officer, Detective Inspector Sharon Chatterton, said: "A murder investigation is always tragic for those involved and our thoughts go out to family at this very difficult time.

"We have had extra officers on patrol in the area concerned because we appreciate the impact that this kind of incident can also have upon the wider
community.

"We want to reassure the public that this is being treated as an isolated incident and a woman has now been charged in connection with Atakan's death.

"We will remain in the area of Jasmine Terrace in the coming days and anyone with information that may be useful to police is asked to call 101."