Tributes to double murder victims

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Scotland Yard’s previous contact with a woman who was found dead alongside her young daughter has been referred to the police watchdog.

The 45-year-old woman and her 23-month old daughter were discovered after officers were called to an address in Oswald’s Mead, Hackney, east London, shortly after 9am yesterday.

A 53-year old man – understood to be in a relationship with the female victim – was found injured and has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

The victims were named locally as Val Forde, a youth support worker, and her daughter Jahzara.

Friends and neighbours expressed their shock as they described Ms Forde as “an angel” and a well-known member of the community.

Jeanna Sanderson, 34, said she was made Jahzara’s godmother at a private christening ceremony.

She said: “She was a bubbly child who liked dancing and always had a smile on her face.”

Ms Sanderson said Ms Forde had three older teenage children.

“She wanted them to grow up and reach their full potential,” she added.

Fighting back tears, neighbour Joyce Zeene said: “She was like a sister to me.

“She’s an angel.”

Student nurse Afia Kwateng, 21, who described herself as a family friend of Ms Forde, said: “She was really well known to the community. She helped everyone.

“She was very lovely.”

It is understood that the man arrested by police lived at the property.

He was taken to an east London hospital where he remains in a stable condition with injuries which are thought to be non-life threatening, police said.

Scotland Yard said the Directorate of Professional Standards had referred prior contact with the victim to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

A number of schoolchildren left floral tributes near to the scene, as police cordoned off the area and forensic teams entered the property.

Later, prayers were said for Ms Forde and her daughter at a specially arranged service at the Wally Foster Community centre in Hackney.

More than 30 people packed into a small chapel in the centre, where friends wrote messages to Ms Forde before lighting candles to pay tribute to her.

A book of condolence will be available at the Kingsmead Kabin where Ms Forde worked as part of the Hackney Marshes Partnership, mourners were told.

After the service, Reverend Angie Melaniphy said: “I’ve known her for a long time.

“She was always at the centre of this community.

“She was a genuinely lovely woman.

“She cared for everyone and every one loved her.

“This community is in shock.

“They’ve come together to give each other comfort and support.”

Neither victim has been formally identified and post-mortems examinations are due to take place, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said.

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