LANTERNS are to be lit in memory of tragic five-year-old Leon Weston as the community comes together for a special memorial service.
Devastated friends and neighbours in Sighthill are struggling to come to terms with the death of the youngster, who was found next to the body of his mother Michelle Stephen at their home in Parkhead Grove. A police investigation is continuing into the tragedy but it is believed Michelle took her own life after suffocating Leon.
The community council and the parent council of the schoolwhich Leon attended are helping to organise the lantern lighting event, although a date and location has not yet been decided.
It is understood it is aimed at friends of Leon, to give them and their parents an opportunity to remember him. As well as the lanterns they will release balloons with pictures and messages.
Community council chair Betty Milton said: “People are absolutely devastated and in shock.”
Michael Urquhart, headteacher at Murrayburn Primary, where Leon was in P1, paid tribute to him.
He said: “Leon was a kind and caring little boy who enjoyed school and always wanted to do well. He loved football and cars, always showed concern for others and was a popular member of the class.
“The school is supporting pupils and staff at this difficult time and we are grateful for the support of parents and the school community.
“Our thoughts are with family and friends of Leon and his mum.”
The school is also planning a memorial service.
Police yesterday revealed that the bodies had been formally identified and said that a full investigation was under way. A report will be sent to the procurator fiscal.
The bodies of Michelle and Leon were discovered on Tuesday by her husband Barry Stephen. The couple had only married in November. Her first marriage, to Leon’s father Kevin Weston, had ended and he now lives in Dalkeith.
The 31-year-old clerical assistant, who worked in the school office at St Augustine’s RC High School, had been left devastated by the death of her father, prison officer Jim Weir, who died in January.
They were said to be very close, and Mr Weir, who passed away after a brief battle with cancer, is said to have moved in with his daughter near the end of his life.
City education leader Councillor Marilyne MacLaren said counsellors had been appointed at Murrayburn Primary to help children.
She said: “The children have been if they so wish, putting their feelings and emotions down on sticky notes, and if they wish to talk about their feelings to staff, they were given the opportunity to do it.
“The school will be having an event just for the pupils next week.”
Terry McNamee, headteacher at St Augustine’s High School, said: “We were incredibly shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Michelle Stephen.
“Michelle was a valued member of our school office staff who had built up positive relationships with staff and pupils alike.
“She will be missed by all and our thoughts are with her family.”