THE heartbroken family of a “beautiful soul” who died in hospital following an assault have paid tribute ahead of her funeral.

Michelle Cooper, 40, suffered catastrophic head injuries during an incident in Beach Way, Jaywick, on April 23 and died two days later.

The gym instructor’s funeral procession will take place today from 11.15am.

It will start at the family home before passing the Never Say Die pub and continuing on to Our Lady of Lights, Clacton.

Family members have now remembered Michelle in a touching tribute.


In a joint statement they said: “Michelle loved and was loved; her kindness shone out around her and she lit up everyone’s life.

“She was a beautiful soul, selfless and always looking out for others.”

Michelle was an accomplished sports competitor, winning silver medals at judo and trophies for kickboxing, and she was also a personal trainer.

She was also a qualified lifeguard who once saved a young person’s life when they got into difficulty at a holiday park swimming pool.

Butterfly-lover Michelle also thrived on the outdoors which saw her regularly caring for her garden and spending time at the beach, lapping up the sun.

She worked at the Never Say Die Pub, which will be decorated with butterflies in tribute, and was a mother to two girls aged 12 and 18, and a 14-year-old son.

READ MORE: Three people deny murdering mum Michelle Cooper in Jaywick

Michelle’s mum Tess said: “Her children meant the world to her and there was nothing she wouldn’t do for them; they had the very best of her, her love and laughter.

“As a daughter and mum, Michelle cannot be replaced. We will always hold her close.”

Michelle was also Tess and dad David’s last surviving child, following the deaths of both of her brothers, Sean and Darren.

Together they added: “We will always remember Michelle as the beautiful person she was, inside and out.”

Following Michelle’s death Essex Police immediately launched a murder investigation, arresting and charging four people.

Charlie Whittaker, 23, of Bemerton Gardens, Kirby Cross, was charged with murder and two counts of ABH.

Bobby Nethercott, 31, of Park Square East, Jaywick, was charged with murder and three counts of ABH.
Jordan Stanley, 20, of Masterman Road, London, E6, was charged with murder and two counts of assault (ABH).

Twenty-year-old Demi Cole of Beach Way, Jaywick, was charged with murder, criminal damage and assault (ABH).

They are due to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on November 29 for trial.