One things for certain, Gaynor Bale has left a lot of people behind, who cared for and loved her. Shocked and grief stricken friends of the 34 yr old Homerton woman, found dead in her home last Thursday, have been paying tribute and expressing their anger via social media networks.
What strikes you most, is the amount of people she knew and even those she didn’t see often, speak with warmth and laughter when they recollect moments shared. All, vividly remember how they met her and how she made them feel. They are also unanimous about one thing, the constant dark cloud that hung over her for the past 4 years – Douglas Samuel. Samuel, 34, of Mariam Court, Link Street, has been charged with her death.
Ben, a friend who knew her for 5 years and started up the memorial page, told Hackney Hive in between sobs: “She was a proper East East girl. A decent girl who was the life of the party. You’ll be hard pressed to find someone to say anything bad about her.
“There was no one who met her, that didn’t instantly like her.
“It’s not cliche to say that she lit up a room, when she walked in”.
There hasn’t been a shortage of people wanting to share their memories with Hackney Hive. While talking to one person on one phone another line is ringing with another person who wants to talk about her.
He added: “She was a decent good girl who cared for everyone, she worked hard and even held down two jobs at one time.
Gaynor had worked at St Josephs Hospice on Mare Street as a Domestic Assistant for 16 years. Liz Nelson, a colleague who retired from the Hospice, but continues to volunteer there, told Hackney Hive: “She was the sweetest girl, always cheerful and a delight to be around. The last time I saw her was two weeks ago at work, but she had been off sick since then”.
Friend, Dee Boyland wrote on the Facebook memorial page:
We worried so much – even if we weren’t always there.
I wish you would have stayed away
From the man who cost you your life yesterday
I wish I could have done some thing
to stop all this from happening
But just like dreams, wishes don’t mean squat
If no one’s willing to do a lot.
Friends, Family and Police told you to stay away
Warned you he would take your life on day
I saw the bruises and marks on your skin
The blood on the shirt in your kitchen
The pain in your eyes, the sorrow in your voice
April, has known Gaynor since she was 12, described her as “an amazing woman with a good heart”.
Everyone of her friends agreed that they felt at various times, Gaynor had been let down by different agencies. Eventually she stopped reporting incidents as often, after she was told she would be evicted from her Hackney Council flat on Anderson Road, following attacks on the property and on her street.
David Wallace, her ex partner of 7 years and one of the last people to see her alive the day she was murdered, told Hackney Hive: “Gaynor was such a gentle soul, she didn’t have an unkind bone in her body.
He spoke of her quirky carefree nature, “Despite us no longer being a couple, we remained the best of friends over the years”.
“Locally, even people who didn’t know her personally, knew of her. She and her dog Marley were a fixture around the area, they were inseparable, said Wallace. ” I’m very torn up and in still shock over her death”.
Long time friend Carrie said: “I met Gaynor when I was 14 and she was 17. This should not have happened to her”.
Tributes continue to pour in on Facebook and flowers and candles are being left outside her flat. Jason Fay wrote ” I laid my flowers there last fri and the copper there said Gaynor actually had the most tributes his ever seen in a case like this and he went on to say how he was touched in how many people that passed were shocked and actually knew her”. [sic]
Douglas Samuel appeared at the Old Bailey today and has a case management hearing on 4 March 2013.
**This article was corrected on 30/11/12