Man charged with murder of Rawtenstall mum

Man charged with murder of Rawtenstall mum

Murder victim, Cherylee Shennan

Police at the scene at the junction of Hardman Avenue and Hall Carr Road

Floral tributes to Cherylee

Forensics at the scene

Forensics at the scene

First published in News
Last updated

A 41-year-old man has appeared before Burnley magistrates, charged with murdering a woman in Rawtenstall on Monday.

Paul O' Hara spoke only to give his name, age and address when he made a brief appearance this morning.

The defendant, of Honiton Close, Heywood, is accused of murdering Cherylee Shennan, 40.

He also faces allegations of wounding Detective Sergeant Damian McAlister with intent to do him grievous bodily harm and assaulting DC Karen Kenworthy with intent to resist arrest on the same date.

O' Hara was sent in custody to Preston Crown Court for a preliminary hearing tomorrow morning. There was no bail application.

A post mortem examination carried out yesterday confirmed Cherylee Shennan died of multiple stab wounds.

Flowers have been laid at the scene as tributes were paid by friends and relatives.

Liz Mutch, who lives opposite Cherylee’s house in Hardman Avenue, said: “She was very friendly with a lot of people on the street and would always say hello. She was a businesswoman and used to run a second-hand furniture shop in Haslingden. I feel terrible for her family and her daughter.”

Cherylee was a former pupil at Plant Hill High School in Manchester but had lived in East Lancashire for many years.

One customer at Top Tanz tanning salon, in nearby Bury Road, said her daughter went to primary school with Cherylee’s daughter.

She said: “I used to live four doors up from her on Hardman Avenue.
“She had huskies and she was always walking them. Her little girl was friends with my little girl.

“She was friendly and always stopped to talk when she saw me. She was really quiet, but very nice.

“I moved to Fallbarn Crescent, but I’d still see her round the estate.

“On Monday, I got there just as the police were turning up. All I could see was a woman on the floor. It’s so sad and shocking.”

A police spokesman said rumours one of her dogs had also been killed were unfounded, and said two huskies were being looked after.

Stacey Hilton, a director at PAWS Rescue and Education Centre, formerly based in Stacksteads, said: “I knew Cherylee to see because there weren’t many husky owners in Rossendale.

“It’s so small you knew everyone who had a husky. I would say hello to her. It’s terribly sad.”

Ten years ago, Cherylee spoke of her determination to turn Waterfoot into one of the nation’s most talked about beauty spots.

Opening her new salon Sheer Bliss, on Victoria Parade, the then-30-year-old vowed to make it one of the UK’s top 10 within two years.

Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph, she said: “I have done a lot of research into what women want and through this I think Sheer Bliss is going to be a special place.”

Despite Cherylee’s ambitions, the salon closed down.

From 2003 to 2005, she worked for Bury company Access-In Limited, and from 2005 to 2009, Cherylee worked for loft insulation firm, Above It All.

Both companies have since dissolved.

Five years ago, Cherylee enrolled on a foundation degree in forensic science at the University of Central Lancashire’s Preston campus, but did not complete it, a spokesman for the university said.

She was also registered to work as a carer on an online job site.

Coun Elizabeth McInnes, for the Longholme ward, said the community had been left ‘very shocked’.

She said: “It’s a close knit community and there’s very little in the way of major crime, so it’s such a shock when something like this happens.”

Police in Rawtenstall stepped up patrols to reassure the community.

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