Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bedford Premier Inn murder: Serena Hickey Foundation set up

Serena Hickey
Image caption Serena Hickey was strangled to death at a hotel

The brother of a woman found dead in a Premier Inn hotel room has said he wants to help domestic abusers change their ways.

Serena Hickey, 42, from Milton Keynes, was strangled to death at the hotel in Kempston, Bedford, on 13 September.

Her partner Daren Ellis' body was later found on a railway line in Warwickshire.

Ms Hickey's brother, Zane Hopkins, has set up a foundation to support domestic violence victims and perpetrators.

"I firmly believe that if you get to the root of a problem, then you eradicate the problem," he told BBC Look East.

"This in no way means we endorse their actions, but hope to prevent further acts of violence by helping to reform and re-educate those guilty of domestic violence."

'Strong person'

Mr Hopkins said he could not believe the news when he was first told about his sister's death.

"I kept thinking, they've got the wrong person, something's wrong. It can't be true.

"She was a really strong person, strong minded, strong bodied - she went to the gym a lot - so this is why it [her death] just doesn't make sense," he said.

Image caption Zane Hopkins said he wanted to make sure a death like his sister's would never happen again

"If my sister could be suffering, and suffering in silence as such a strong person, then there's got to be countless amounts of others suffering in silence too."

"We must unite to make sure this tragedy is never allowed to happen again," he wrote on the Serena Hickey Foundation Facebook page.

A fundraising campaign has been launched to register the foundation as an official charity, and open up a drop-in support centre.

"This will provide the best care, compassion and support for all sufferers of this awful atrocity," Mr Hopkins wrote.

Image caption The Premier Inn hotel in Kempston, Bedford, where Serena Hickey's body was found on 13 September

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