Mum found dead in flat had fought off cancer

Friends said Sheryle Mullen showed great courage while battling cancer. Picture: Contributed
Friends said Sheryle Mullen showed great courage while battling cancer. Picture: Contributed
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A MOTHER-OF-TWO whose unexplained death in a city flat is being investigated by the Crown Office had been battling breast cancer.

Friends said “funny, bubbly” Sheryle Mullen, 46, had been winning her cancer battle and was in remission when she died suddenly in a friend’s flat just hours after singing at a karaoke night.

Her death is being investigated by the Scottish Fatalities Investigation Unit (SFIU) in a bid to determine the cause.

The 46-year-old was found dead by web designer Philip Lockwood after he awoke in his flat in Ardshiel Avenue, Clermiston, on September 15.

Friends of Ms Mullen, who lived in Boswall Drive, Boswall, described her as “full of life” and paid tribute to her courage.

“She told us that she had cancer but that she would beat it,” one said.

“It wasn’t something she kept a secret and it didn’t stop her coming out and having fun. She was a very strong person. She was a funny, bubbly lady. I was very sad to hear that she had died. It’s a terrible loss.”

The fluent French speaker was said to be a “really great mum”.

Her family, including daughter Simone, 28, and son Rion, 23, have been left devastated by their loss.

Ms Mullen met Mr Lockwood, 55, for the first time at the Volunteer Arms pub on Leith Walk at around 10.15pm on Saturday, September 14, where they sang a karaoke duet of Love Me Tender.

The pair returned to the Clermiston flat in the early hours of Sunday where Ms Mullen passed out in the bed. Mr Lockwood, who had described her as “very drunk”, awoke at 9.30am to find she had passed away.

New details of Ms Mullen’s life have emerged as the Crown Office’s SFIU, a unit launched in 2011 to ­investigate non-criminal deaths, continues its probe. She was born Sheryle Cochrane in England in 1967 to parents Hugh and Maureen. It is understood she was educated at St Thomas High School while living in Quebec, Canada, and spoke fluent French.

She married at the age of 16 to 23-year-old hospital porter David Evelyn, and the couple were living in Caerketton Court, Oxgangs, when they had daughter, Simone, in 1985. They later divorced.

She had son, Rion, with ­scaffolder James Stewart in March, 1990, while they were living in Sighthill Loan.

She later reverted to using her mother’s maiden name, Mullen, with her parents divorcing in 2003, and she became a gran five years ago when her daughter had a girl.

On her Facebook page, Ms Mullen wrote she had become engaged in June last year, and said she loved music and travel.

A friend of Ms Mullen, who asked not to be named, said: “She was a really lovely woman, full of life. It’s tragedy that she has passed at such a young age.”

Mr Lockwood said: “I only knew Sheryle for a very short time, but she seemed like a lovely woman.

“I’m still very upset that she passed away. It was difficult to come back to the flat after what happened. I just want to try and get on with life, but I’m very sorry for her family’s loss.”

A Crown Office spokesman: “The procurator fiscal has received a report in connection with the death of a 46-year-old woman in Edinburgh on ­September 15.

“The investigation into the death, under the direction of Scottish Fatalities Investigation Unit (SFIU), is ongoing and the family will continue to be kept updated in relation to any significant developments.”

amcewen@edinburghnews.com