The mum of a schoolteacher broke her silence to say a heartfelt “thank you” for the kindness shown to her family following her daughter’s tragic death.
Pat Oxley was at West Boldon Primary School yesterday, where Julie Parkin, 39, worked to see her pupils release balloons in her memory.
As the purple and pink balloons soared into the sky, following a minute’s applause, tears fell while a group of children could be heard chanting “Mrs Parkin – we love you” in the background.
The touching tribute was held ahead of a football match between Cleadon, Whitburn and Boldon policing team and pupils, in memory of the much-loved teacher,
The match, an annual event, has now been dedicated to Mrs Parkin, who was found stabbed to death in her Sunderland home on June 27.
Mrs Oxley was joined at the school by Julie’s sisters Rebecca Burnett, Abbey Ord and Jane Oxley and grand-daughter Nyssa Oxley.
She said: “I would like to thank the children and the teachers, it has been a lovely tribute for Julie.
“Some of the children have taken Julie’s death quite bad and I wanted to be here to support them.”
“It has been overwhelming the support we have received, from the children, parents, teachers and the community, it has been amazing. It has been such a comfort to us as a family.”
The match was won by the pupils 6-4. The team were presented with the Oxley Cup – in memory of Mrs Parkin – by her older sister Jane.
Deputy feadteacher Suzanne Vout said: “We have all been affected by what’s happened but the community has pulled together.”
Pc Andy Wilkinson said: “As a policing team, we wanted to support the pupils in doing something positive in Mrs Parkin’s memory.
Adam Parkin, 35, of Kirkwall Close, Castletown, Sunderland, where Mrs Parkin also lived, has appeared at Newcastle Crown Court charged with the murder of Julie Parkin and the attempted murder of a person, who cannot be named at this stage of proceedings. He is remanded in custody.