Singer’s death brings back painful memories for Shirley

Newtownabbey couple Richard and Shirley Campbell look at photos of their son, Lee, who tragically took his own life last year after getting addicted to the so-called legal high, mephedrone. Picture by Stephen Hamilton/PressEye
Newtownabbey couple Richard and Shirley Campbell look at photos of their son, Lee, who tragically took his own life last year after getting addicted to the so-called legal high, mephedrone. Picture by Stephen Hamilton/PressEye

THE death of singer Amy Winehouse last month was painfully resonant for Newtownabbey woman Shirley Campbell whose son Lee died just 18 months ago after becoming dependent on drugs.

Shirley said watching the agony etched on the faces of Amy’s bereft parents, Janis and Mitch Winehouse, at their daughter’s funeral brings back all her own grief.

Lee Campbell was found hanged in the attic of his Rathcoole home on March 15, 2010, just three weeks before his 18th birthday. He had become hooked on the so-called legal high, mephedrone.

Shirley, whose pain is still palpable, says she can totally empathise with the anguish Mitch and Janis Winehouse must be experiencing following the death of their 27-year-old daughter.

“My heart went out to the family when I heard the news. It brings back so much, it’s like it just happened yesterday. I know exactly how they feel. It’s very, very painful.

“They (Amy’s parents) will be going through such emotions, it’s unbelievable. It’s a year and a half now since Lee died and it’s not getting any easier.”

Read the full story in this week’s Times...