Kathryn Parton 'a beautiful soul', vigil told

Kathryn Parton
Kathryn Parton was found with serious head injuries at her home in Madrid Street [Police handout]

The friends of Kathryn Parton, who was found dead in a bedroom in east Belfast last week, have described her as "a beautiful soul who was full of joy”.

Ms Parton was found with serious head injuries in a house on Wednesday 15 May and pronounced dead at the scene.

A small crowd of people attended a vigil at Island Hill in Comber on Friday night to remember the 34-year-old.

Family and friends released lanterns into the sky.

Samantha Louise Rutherford
Samantha Louise Rutherford attended the vigil for her late friend on Friday [BBC]

Samantha Louise Rutherford, a childhood friend of Ms Parton’s, told BBC News NI she was "amazing".

"We got closer then later in life because our two sons got friendly," she said.

"Kat was always full of fun and always full of energy. We are devastated and when I heard the news I was dumbfounded.

"Tonight's vigil is important to us as she loved this area and it's so peaceful.

"May our friend rest in peace."

'I heard the news on the radio'

Franchesca Bell
Franchesca Bell worked with Kat Parton [BBC]

Franchesca Bell, who worked with Kat, said: "I heard the news about her death on the radio and it broke me.

"We are absolutely gutted and can do nothing but remember the good times and the crazy fun times.

"We danced together and she lit up every room and was full of life. Tonight was a lovely tribute to her and she will never be forgotten."

Ms Parton is the 19th woman to be killed to domestic violence in Northern Ireland since 2020, according to Women’s Aid.

Kathryn Patron vigil friends walking carrying lanterns
Friends and family of Ms Parton lit lanterns at the vigil in Comber on Friday evening [Pacemaker]

Jamie Love, 23, from Madrid Street, is charged with Ms Parton's murder.

Suzanne Love, the accused’s mother, 43 and from Isoline Street, faces three charges in connection with the death, including attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Reece Oliver, 22, from Castleton Avenue in Belfast, is also charged with assisting an offender and aiding and abetting breach of bail.