A FORMER Stapleford mother-of-three was fatally injured in an assault at her Australian home just days before she was due to return to England, her family has said.
Sally Brooks’s three children, aged 10, nine and seven, cried by her Melbourne hospital bed before her distraught family took the decision to turn off her life support, her twin sister Alison said.
The recently-divorced 48-year-old IT consultant had emigrated 16 years ago but had sold her house and was due to fly back with her children to start a new life in Nottingham the day she died.
Australian police are hunting her killer after Ms Brooks was found at her home in the Donvale area of the city with head injuries on July 1.
Alison Brooks told a press conference arranged in a bid to find the killer: “I thought the loss of my twin was more than I could bear but it was nothing compared to seeing the faces of Sally’s children when they were told by police that Sally had been deliberately hurt.
“Worse was to come when we saw the three children crying hysterically by mummy’s bedside trying to wake her up.
“We truly know the meaning of heartbreak.”
Police said they would like to speak to anyone who arranged to buy items from Ms Brooks on auction websites, including Gumtree, eBay and Car Sales, in the run-up to the attack.
Det Ins John Potter, from Victoria Police’s homicide squad, said: “We’re hoping to find information from anyone that may have been involved in sales with Mrs Brooks that might be able to provide information about who’s done this crime.”
Officers said they believe Ms Brooks was assaulted at her home on the day she was found between 9am and 2pm. The alarm was raised after she failed to pick her children up from school.
Alison Brooks and her mother Audrey had flown out from Nottingham to be at Ms Brooks’s bedside.
“Whoever did this cowardly act has stolen the future of Sally and her children.
“I have lost my twin and struggle to comprehend that I will forever be half instead of whole,” added Alison.