Tributes mark 28th birthday of Simone

Tragic: Simone and Mohammed Jabakhanji on their wedding day
Tragic: Simone and Mohammed Jabakhanji on their wedding day

Moving tributes have poured in to remember a former Leyland student, who died in Africa, on what should have been her 28th birthday.

Simone Jabakhanji, maiden name Lally, moved from the town to Gambia in 2009 and a year later married partner Mohammed in a ceremony on the beach.

But less than a year after they exchanged their vows, Simone was found dead in her home in the capitol city of Banjul.

Police in Gambia say they are investigating her death, which happened on August 13.

Simone should have turned 28 on September 2. Moving tributes have marked the occasion to remember Simone, a former Worden Sports College pupil.

Her friend Kelly Mills said: “I have been friends with Simone for 19 years and she was such a happy and bubbly character.

“You couldn’t be in her company without laughing or smiling.

“She was such a beautiful person both inside and out and she had a heart of gold.

“She would do anything to help anyone and was always putting other people first.

“My life is better because she was in it and the world will now be a much sadder place without her in it.

“We have all lost someone who has played such a special part in our lives and we just don’t know why she has been snatched from us at such a young age.”

Taking to his Facebook page to remember his sister, brother Peter Lally, 24, said: “Happy birthday Simone. Just wish you were here so I could wish you a happy birthday.

“I really miss you and still can’t get to grips with it all. You will be up there though, celebrating your birthday with dad. I know it. RIP xxxx.”

The former Worden Sports College pupil moved to the Africa from Leyland around six months after her father Peter died of cancer.

She married partner Mohammed on Valentine’s Day 2010.

Police investigating the death say Mr Jabakhanji, a local businessman, told officers he returned to the couple’s home in the Pipeline district of the city and found her hanging from a door.

He told police he took her to hospital with the help of the house’s caretaker, where she was later pronounced dead.

Police confirmed they are still investigating the cause and circumstances of her death. It’s thought her body has been flown home.