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Fiancée of cyclist killed while riding bike in Norwich condemns ‘heartless’ vandalism of memorial

PUBLISHED: 08:31 25 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:33 25 April 2018

Ian Mooney with his dog Hollie. Photo: Shelley D'eath

Ian Mooney with his dog Hollie. Photo: Shelley D'eath

Archant

The fiancée of a cyclist killed while riding his bike in Norwich has labelled those who vandalised his memorial as “heartless and cruel”.

The tribute to Ian Mooney, which has been ripped down. Photo: Shelley D'eathThe tribute to Ian Mooney, which has been ripped down. Photo: Shelley D'eath

Shelley D’eath said flowers, photographs and letters dedicated to her partner Ian Mooney were ripped down on Sunday night on Aylsham Road.

They had been tied to a lamp post near to where the 31-year-old was involved in a crash while riding his bike on April 3 this year.

Mr Mooney suffered serious injuries and died two days later in hospital on April 5.

Miss D’eath described Mr Mooney as her “soul mate” and revealed he had proposed to her just months before the crash.

Shelley D'eathShelley D'eath

The 39-year-old said the pain of losing him had been made worse by vandals who trashed his memorial on April 22.

She said: “Ian was not just my partner, he was my best friend and my soul mate,

“I was devastated when I saw what had happened to the memorial. I can’t believe someone could be so heartless and cruel.”

The mother-of-four said the memorial included notes written by her children to Mr Mooney saying how much they missed him.

Ian Mooney and Shelley D'eath. Photo: Shelley D'eathIan Mooney and Shelley D'eath. Photo: Shelley D'eath

It was tied to a lamp post near to Mecca Bingo.

She added: “The memorial was my way of grieving in a sense because I have not been able to see him since he was in hospital.”

Miss D’eath, of Appleyard Crescent in Mile Cross, said Mr Mooney had a “heart of gold” and was a “big part” of her life.

She said she first met him in January 2017 when they were both working as carers at Northgate House in Norwich. She said they immediately “clicked”.

The tribute to Ian Mooney, which has been ripped down. Photo: Shelley D'eathThe tribute to Ian Mooney, which has been ripped down. Photo: Shelley D'eath

“We had so much in common,” Miss D’eath said. “And from the moment we met each other we knew there was going to be something between us.”

Mr Mooney, a former Hellesdon High School pupil, left the care home in April last year to start work as a cleaner at the Glass House pub on Magdalen Street.

Miss D’eath said he would ride his bike everywhere - and even accompanied her when she had to work outside of the city.

“I hadn’t been on a push bike for years until I met Ian,” she said. “Now I ride one everywhere.

“When I started working in domiciliary care he would ride out with me and would wait outside in the rain until I finish.

“He just wanted to know that I was safe.”

Miss D’eath said Mr Mooney had proposed to her shortly after the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve.

“He only had a jelly ring, bless him,” she said. “But it was a yes straight away from me.

“We had been planning to have a long engagement and were planning to go to Paris this year.”

She said Mr Mooney had been riding back to her house when he was involved in the crash on Tuesday, April 3.

“I had been to work and was running late, and my daughter messaged me to ask if I knew where Ian was,” Miss D’eath said.

“I told her he should be home soon, and she messaged back to say there had been an accident and it was someone on their bike.”

Miss D’eath said she tried to call Mr Mooney, but he did not answer. She then received a call from police.

“I was just in shock,” she said. “I pushed my bike down the road and when I got there I saw his bike and thought ‘oh my gosh’ what is going on.”

Mr Mooney was flown to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge for treatment. Miss D’eath and Mr Mooney’s mother followed by car.

“They [medical staff] said there was nothing they could do for him,” she said.

“It was dreadful laying next to someone you love so much. The nurse said I could lie with him and I remember falling asleep crying.

“I stayed with him for the two days he was there. I never left.”

She said Mr Mooney was an organ donor, and had his pancreas, heart and kidney removed on the Thursday morning. Later that day she said his life support was turned off.

“It has been a complete nightmare,” Miss D’eath said. “I can’t sleep or function properly at the moment and every day is a chore.

“His clothes are still on my bed, his jacket is hanging up in my living room because I can’t move them. It is just hard at the minute.”

Police arrested a man in his 30s on suspicion of drink driving, drug driving and dangerous driving following the crash.

He was released under investigation. Police said enquiries were ongoing and officers were speaking to a number of witnesses.

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