FISH and chip shop owner Angela Smeaton, 50, was pronounced dead at her home in Eddleston Walk, leaving her friends and neighbours in the tight-knit community “shocked” and “devastated”.
Just hours earlier Angela had faced the heartbreak of laying her brother, Martin, to rest after he lost what is believed to have been a battle with cancer.
Angela, who owned Ange’s Chippy, in Owton Manor Lane, also previously lost her dad, George, to cancer and left a touching tribute on an online obituary in memory of Martin just days ago before the funeral was held at Stranton Grange Cemetery on Monday.
But Angela was found with serious injuries when police were called to her home just after 1am yesterday.
Officers revealed she was later pronounced dead at the scene.
Forensic experts were examining the property throughout the day yesterday, and it remained cordoned off by police.
Shocked and upset neighbours expressed their “devastation” at hearing about the loss of a “kind, lovely woman”.
Staff at Angela’s popular fish and chip shop were gathered early yesterday morning and told the grim news.
It is believed Angela previously worked at a fish and chip shop in the Brierton Lane area of town before opening her own business around two years ago.
The former Brierton School pupil is believed to have lived with her partner Paul Smart and is a mum of Anthony.
One neighbour, who wished not to be named, told the Mail: “Angela was absolutely lovely, she was hard-working, friendly, she would do anything for you.
“I was only talking to her early on Monday morning. It was the day of her brother’s funeral so obviously she was upset, but other than that she seemed ok.
“I just couldn’t believe it when I found out what had happened, everyone round here is in shock.
“I heard a bit of a commotion in the middle of the night, but I didn’t think anything of it at the time. Then I looked outside and saw all the police.”
Another shocked neighbour added: “You never think anything like this is going to happen on your doorstep. It’s awful.
“I didn’t hear anything, but the police knocked us up in the middle of the night.
“Angela has lived round here all of her life. To be honest she tended to keep herself to herself, but she was always so friendly.”
Those working in shops neighbouring Ange’s Chippy also said Angela kept herself to herself, but expressed their deep sadness when they learned of her death.