New mum found dead at home by partner

Young mother Diane Balneaves, 30, leaves a five-month-old son behind. Picture: contributed
Young mother Diane Balneaves, 30, leaves a five-month-old son behind. Picture: contributed
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TRIBUTES have been paid to a “fit and healthy” mum who died suddenly just months after giving birth to her first son.

Diane Balneaves, 30, was found by her partner Ewen Nicolson when he returned home from work on Tuesday night.

Friends say the Hearts fan was struck down in “the prime of life” after becoming a mum for the first time five months ago.

It is the second tragedy to beset the family after her dad, Charlie, died unexpectedly several years ago.

A friend, who did not want to be named, said everyone was struggling to come to terms with it.

He said: “All that we know at the moment is that her partner got home from work and found her dead.

“People who had seen her at the weekend said she was fine and healthy. There’s not been any health issues other than she’s had problems with her back but that has been long standing.

“We can’t imagine what has happened but it was sudden.

“Everyone is just in total shock that this can happen to someone her age. It is all the more tragic now she’s got Calum.

“Nobody had any inclination at all that she had anything wrong with her. We are all absolutely stunned.”

Diane, who grew up in Davidson’s Mains and was living in Glasgow, was well known on the speedway circuit, as her family was heavily involved with the Edinburgh Monarchs.

Her father was a fundraiser who helped to finance many young riders getting into the sport, sold programmes and filmed many of the races at Armadale.

The club honoured his memory by creating the Charlie Balneaves’ Rider of the Year Award.

Last night, club staff told of their shock at the “massive loss”.

John Campbell, co-promoter at the Monarchs who worked with her dad, described the tragedy as “a sad day” for everyone associated with the club. He said: “It’s very sad to hear the news. They’re a tragic family as her dad died very young, too.

“Her father was a very high-profile supporter and we have all seen Diane growing up at the track. She was very well liked by everyone who knew her and that was many people at the Monarchs.

“It is terrible to hear the news and our thoughts go to the family.”

Charity worker Diane worked for the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh for four years up until last year.

Richard Hellewell, chief executive at Royal Blind, said she was well-liked and valued staff member.

“It is with much sadness that we learned about the death of our former classroom assistant.

“We offer our sincere condolences to Diane’s family and friends. Our thoughts are with them at this time.”

Attempts were made to contact her family, but no-one was available to comment.