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Memorial for murdered backpacker

The life of Caroline Stuttle, pictured here at Sydney Harbour, will be celebrated at a 10-year anniversary memorial service in Britain after she was killed in Bundaberg in April 2002.
The life of Caroline Stuttle, pictured here at Sydney Harbour, will be celebrated at a 10-year anniversary memorial service in Britain after she was killed in Bundaberg in April 2002.

TEN years have passed since British backpacker Caroline Stuttle was thrown to her death from Bundaberg's Burnett Traffic Bridge, but not a day goes by that her mum does not miss her terribly.

Marjorie Marks, who will commemorate today's 10-year anniversary of the teenager's death with a service in Britain's famed York Minster, said her daughter's murder was something "some of us will never get over".

"Sometimes it feels like a lifetime ago and other days it feels like yesterday. Every year is hard," Ms Marks told the NewsMail.

"Something like this you have no choice but to learn to live with. I still miss her every day."

Ms Stuttle was just 19 when she visited Bundaberg as part of "the holiday of a lifetime" and was thrown off the Burnett Traffic Bridge by Ian Douglas Previte, then aged 30, during what was described as a robbery gone wrong.

Previte was sentenced to life in prison and is not eligible for parole until 2017.

To celebrate the young woman's life, Ms Stuttle's family, from York in northern England, will hold an evensong memorial service early tomorrow morning, eastern standard time.

Ms Marks said the service had been designed to focus on what a special person her daughter was.

"We have invited everyone who knew her - all her school friends and work colleagues," she said.

"We really just want a fitting tribute to Caroline and to mark the 10-year anniversary in a respectful way that we feel that Caroline would be happy with."

The grieving mum said Ms Stuttle's death had hit her so hard that it was not until 2008, that she could face travelling to Bundaberg herself.

In 2010, a memorial to Ms Stuttle was placed in Buss Park as a reminder to backpackers to stay safe as they travelled across the globe.

"We offer our greatest thanks to everyone from Bundaberg for the memorial," Ms Marks said.

"We are still in contact with people who helped us during that difficult period and we will be forever grateful."

Ms Marks said Ms Stuttle's family, including dad Alan and younger brother Richard, were "really touched" by the generosity and feelings of the Bundaberg community so long after the shocking incident.

"We feel very honoured that the people of Bundaberg still hold a space for us and remember the special person Caroline was," she said.

To help honour Ms Stuttle's death, her family has started Caroline's Rainbow Foundation, a charity that provides information to travellers to ensure they stay safe on their journeys.

Topics:  burnett traffic bridge, memorial, murder


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