Family pay tribute to Portsmouth mum with ‘a heart of gold’

Mandy Downes Meehan
Mandy Downes Meehan
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TRIBUTES have been paid to a mother of five with a ‘heart of gold’ who died unexpectedly.

Amanda Downes-Meehan, 39, who was originally from Portsmouth and had moved to Camden, had come back to the city last month to visit her son Callium Farminer, 11.

Mandy's sister Keri Murphy, her daughter Leanne Murphy, and her mum Ann Murphy 'Picture: Malcolm Wells

Mandy's sister Keri Murphy, her daughter Leanne Murphy, and her mum Ann Murphy 'Picture: Malcolm Wells

But then Amanda was told she would not be able to see her son, so went to visit a friend to cheer herself up.

She went to The Painters Arms pub, in Lake Road, Landport, with a friend and then back to her home for a few more drinks.

She was due to go back to her mother’s house in Buriton Street, Landport, the next morning at 9am, but police arrived at 8.40am to say Amanda, who was known as Mandy, had died.

Amanda’s mum Ann said: ‘I don’t think she died just of natural causes.

‘I know my daughter and she could handle her drink, and I don’t think it was anything to do with that.

‘I’m still waiting for her to come back home

‘It doesn’t feel like she’s gone.

‘It breaks my heart as I always think “why why why?”.’

Her family say they are devastated and don’t understand what caused her death.

Amanda’s sister, Keri Murphy, 29, also of Landport, said the death came as a total shock and that she still can’t believe Amanda’s gone.

‘Mandy had a heart of gold,’ Keri said.

‘She was very loud and opinionated, but she was the most thoughtful, kind person with the biggest heart.

‘She was so funny, and was one of those people who loved her family so much.

‘She just wanted to make them proud.

‘It doesn’t feel like she has gone.

‘People can’t be gone if they are in your heart.’

Amanda moved to Camden in 2011 to start a new life, but regularly came back to Portsmouth to see friends and family.

Though unemployed, she worked as a volunteer at a British Heart Foundation charity store.

She also struck up a friendship with actor Sean Bean after meeting him in a pub in Camden.

Keri said: ‘She loved socialising and being around people and helping people.

‘She spent most of her time doing things for others.’

Mandy also leaves behind her brother Nathan, 35, and a step-sister.

She is survived by her husband Tom Meehan, and children Leanne, 18, Ashley, 16, Reece, 14, Shaznay, 12, and Callium.