Tributes to ‘star student’ Melissa Liddle as partner faces murder charge

MURDER SCENE ...Oak Avenue
MURDER SCENE ...Oak Avenue

A MAN accused of killing his partner on Mother’s Day has appeared in court.

Anthony Edward Ross, stood before South Tyneside Magistrate’s Court yesterday, charged with the murder of Melissa Liddle.

The 23-year-old was found dead at the home the couple shared with their two children, Lewis, five and a seven-month-old baby, on Sunday evening.

Ross, 24, of Oak Avenue, South Shields, who wore a grey T-shirt, declined to confirm his name, age or address, when asked by the clerk of the court.

The case had earlier been halted briefly when Ross appeared reluctant to enter the dock in the packed courtroom.

However, he appeared five minutes later after speaking to his solicitor Charlton Carr.

Ross was remanded to Newcastle Crown Court, where he will appear tomorrow.

Meanwhile, tributes have been placed at the home of the mother-of-two who has been described by relatives as a “lovely” person who would “always help others.”

Miss Liddle had been a former student at South Tyneside College, where she studied floristry.

Her talents in the art allowed her to be fast-tracked through her course, last year, in time to have her second baby.

She has been described by her tutor as a “star student.”

Alison Maynard – principal, South Tyneside Professional and Vocational College, said: “Melissa was a very talented florist and has been described as a star student by her tutor.

“She was determined to start her own business and was fast-tracked to complete her course early so that she could achieve the qualification before giving birth for a second time.

“Melissa was very passionate about floristry and worked very hard while with us. She had a natural flair for it and had great ambition to do well and to set up her own floristry shop. It is incredibly sad that she will not achieve that.

“All at South Tyneside College are shocked and saddened to hear of the death of such a pleasant, likeable and talented young lady.

“Our thoughts and best wishes are with her and her family and friends.”

Annette Todd, 53, whose sister is Miss Liddle’s grandmother, said the whole family have been left “devastated” by her death.

She said Miss Liddle and Ross had been “childhood sweethearts” who had been together for around eight years.

Mrs Todd, also of Oak Avenue, South Shields, said: “They were childhood sweethearts and have been together for about eight years.

“They lived together and have two boys. She was such a nice girl and used to volunteer for St John’s Ambulance.”

She added: “We are just devastated by this.”

A 48-year-old man who was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of assisting an offender will not be the subject of any further police action.

Twitter: @shieldsgazlisa