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'Our lives are shattered once more' - Family's pain as sister of murdered backpacker Hannah Witheridge dies

PUBLISHED: 18:04 17 September 2019 | UPDATED: 18:20 17 September 2019

Laura Daniels, sister of Hannah Witheridge, who died on September 16. Picture: Witheridge family.

Laura Daniels, sister of Hannah Witheridge, who died on September 16. Picture: Witheridge family.

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The family of murdered backpacker Hannah Witheridge have shared their "indescribable pain" at the loss of her sister Laura who had been gravely ill.

Laura Daniels (centre), with Simon Bailey, left, and PC David Reed (right) who received the Hannah Witheridge Special Recognition Award in 2016 PIC: Mark AmiesLaura Daniels (centre), with Simon Bailey, left, and PC David Reed (right) who received the Hannah Witheridge Special Recognition Award in 2016 PIC: Mark Amies

In statement they said: "We confirm that our beautiful girl Laura passed away on Monday, September 16.

"Laura had been gravely ill and was being treated in hospital.

"Our hearts are broken, our lives are shattered once more.

"The pain of this loss is indescribable and our family very much need time and privacy during this unbearable time."

Laura Daniels, 30, died five years and a day after Hannah, 23, was brutally murdered on the Thai island of Koh Tao along with David Miller from Jersey.

Last month it emerged two Burmese migrants convicted of their deaths would be executed after their appeals were thrown out by the court.

The brutal circumstances in which the two travellers died caused shockwaves around the world, and especially in Hemsby, Norfolk, where student Hannah was from.

For the Witheridge family their grief was compounded by trolls and even death threats.

In 2016 Laura revealed she had been targeted by death threats and sent disturbing photographs of the murder scene.

Last year she spoke out about a sadistic internet troll who targeted Hannah's grieving family with grossly offensive posts which compounded their suffering.

Previously Laura had told how her family had been "drop-kicked into the pits of hell itself" when Hannah was murdered.

She appeared at the Norfolk Safer Community Awards (NOSCAs) in Norwich in 2016 when a new award was presented in memory of Hannah acknowledging the work of police family liaison officers.

She said that following her sister's death even the simplest of tasks had become impossible and said the officers assigned to their family had helped them through their darkest hours.

Some £17,000 was raised by a Go Fund Me donation page set up by Laura to enable the family to attend the trial in Thailand and pay for an interpreter.

Writing poignantly on the page she said: "The past year has thrown our lives into disarray, tarnished our trust in anything and everything and made us question humanity.

"On my darkest days, I think about the people who have thrown themselves out of planes, run significant distances and those who have sacrificed precious pounds from tight budgets to support us.

"It is in these selfless acts of kindness that I see reason to keep putting one foot in front of the other."

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