Tragedy inspires daughter’s future

Kirsty Weller, 20, who graduated from Edge Hill University after her dad killed her stepmum
Kirsty Weller, 20, who graduated from Edge Hill University after her dad killed her stepmum

The daughter of a Chorley man who killed his wife and then himself says she has used the experience to help others.

Kirsty Weller was speaking as she graduated from Edge Hill University with a degree in forensic psychology.

The 20-year-old’s family hit the headlines in September, 2007, when the body of her father, Graham Weller, 39, was found at his semi-detached home in Coltsfoot Drive.

Police also found the body of his wife Jodi-Lee, 28, who had been stabbed seven times.

A police investigation found process worker Graham had killed Jodi-Lee before taking his own life.

Kirsty, who was 16 at the time of the murder, said she has not let the experience break her.

She said: “I could have grieved in a dark room and not done anything with my life but I didn’t let it break me, it has made me stronger and I’m doing something good with my life.

“Everyone has something that drives or motivates them, so I’d say use these experiences in a positive way.”

Kirsty also leaves Edge Hill as the university’s Student Volunteer of the Year, as well as gaining a 2:1 on her degree.

While working towards the grade she also worked as a support carer for the elderly and those with mental health problems, and also spent hours providing emotional support to victims of crime through volunteering for Victim Support.

Kirsty said: “I was about to start college (when it happened) but because of all the media attention I nearly didn’t go - I was worried that people would recognise me.

“It was so hard for me but I had amazing support. It was then that I realised that I wanted to become a forensic psychologist.

“The job satisfaction I get from this is amazing. Some of the people I have helped have even applied to become volunteers themselves and I have received letters thanking me, which has been really nice.

“I think what I’ve been through also helps me relate to the people I help through Victim Support, because I can understand what they’re going through.

“I don’t bring my sob story to the table, but sometimes if I’m dealing with victims of domestic violence and they are scared to go to court I can use my experiences to tell them that if they don’t nip it in the bud it will only get worse.”

Kirsty, who still lives in Chorley, chose Edge Hill as a place to study as it was close to her friends and family.

She said: “My tutors have been so supportive and I don’t think I could have done it without their help.”