Gemma's parents pay tribute

THE grieving parents of murdered Gemma Adams have spoken publicly for the first time about how they lost their “bright and bubbly” daughter to a world of drugs and prostitution.

THE grieving parents of murdered Gemma Adams have spoken publicly for the first time about how they lost their “bright and bubbly” daughter to a world of drugs and prostitution.

In a brave and moving tribute, they described how an “ordinary and intelligent” schoolgirl was driven to a world of “heroin hell” by her addiction.

Last night, speaking exclusively to the EADT, Gemma's parents remembered their daughter as a fun-loving girl who adored animals and had countless friends.

Mr Adams said: “She was bright and bubbly and full of fun. That's the only way to describe her.

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“She was good company, bright and intelligent. If you asked her to do anything, she would do it well. We never had any rows with her at home.

“One of her teachers described her as an 'ordinary, intelligent girl from a nice family' and that's exactly what she was.”

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Her parents also spoke of the former Kesgrave High School pupil's love of her pet dog Holly, who she rescued as a puppy 11 years ago after hearing she had been abandoned in a shed.

During her younger years, she belonged to the Brownies and enjoyed playing the piano and horse riding. Along with Gemma's older sister and younger brother, the family enjoyed various summer holidays together.

But tragically, after getting into the “wrong crowd” during her teenage years, Gemma's life changed for the worse, to the point where she began working on the streets - something her family was not aware of until she went missing, on November 15.

Mr Adams said: “It's every parent's worst nightmare. Once your child is involved with hard drugs, your heart is already broken.

“I had a strong suspicion all was not well and that her life was degenerating into a fairly chaotic state. But despite numerous attempts to make contact to try to help her resolve her problems, we were unable to.

“It's just like we've been in a nightmare and even closing your eyes doesn't give you relief. You close your eyes and it's still there.

“Normally, if you have a nightmare, you wake up and the pain is gone but this nightmare is ongoing.”

Mr and Mrs Adams said they were aware of Gemma's drug problems and had done everything they could to help her, including taking her to see doctors and the community drugs team.

But as the grip of her addiction became stronger, she gradually forced her parents away.

Mr Adams said: “She was working in insurance and had a good job but she used to slip out at lunch time for a smoke and, eventually, she would be late going back and then have days off.

“She ended up getting the sack because she was not attending regularly. She gradually drifted away from us.

“She kept in touch with us on an infrequent basis but in the last two years we did not see much of her.”

He added: “It's just heroin hell and if any parents have got any suspicion their child is taking drugs, I would say tackle it head on and try to get help at the earliest opportunity because I wouldn't want to see anyone else go through what Gemma has been through and what we are going through.”

Mrs Adams said Gemma, who lived with her partner in Blenheim Road, Ipswich, knew she was always welcome to her parents' home, just outside Ipswich, and that her close-knit family was always there for her.

She said: “She always knew she had somewhere to go. We think that she got involved in this way of life and completely cut us out because she didn't want us to know what was going on and the depth of the problems she had got.

“She probably wanted to keep us away from what she was doing.”

Mr and Mrs Adams were keen to praise the police for their “unstinting and thorough” work on the inquiry.

“The two family liaison officers have been very supportive,” said Mr Adams.

“They are very personal and professional and detective chief inspector David Skevington has spoken to us on two or three occasions and been to see us. We know that he is putting 150% into it and so is everyone working on it.

“What we want to see is the person responsible caught. We have also got a huge amount of sympathy for the family of Tania.”

The family said they have been “greatly comforted” by the tributes paid to Gemma since her death, with more than 100 cards and numerous bunches of flowers received.

Mrs Adams said: “All our thoughts are that Gemma is now at peace and she hasn't got to wake up in turmoil again.

“She is going to be deeply missed but never forgotten. She will always be in our hearts. We will remember her as she was before and will love her always.”

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