Devastated family of death fall Welwyn Hatfield musician: ‘Bipolar disorder is a killer’

PUBLISHED: 12:08 12 June 2015 | UPDATED: 12:09 12 June 2015

Emma Barker performed in many Welwyn Hatfield music venues

Emma Barker performed in many Welwyn Hatfield music venues

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The devastated family of a talented Welwyn Hatfield singer-songwriter have spoken of their grief after her fatal plunge from a multi-storey car park at just 27.

Although the death of Emma Barker, who fell from the Oracle shopping centre in Reading on Saturday night, is described by police as “unexplained but not suspicious”, her family are convinced it was linked to her long term mental illness.

Her father Kenneth Barker said: “She struggled with bouts of depression throughout her short life. She will be missed for her outgoing and friendly personality, by her friends mainly in Reading and by her close family in WGC, Harpenden and Gustard Wood.”

His brother Anthony Barker, who lives in Nursery Hill, Welwyn Garden City, said: “We are all pretty devastated, even though I always thought this would happen one day. I feel sorry for my brother, as she was his only daughter.”

Emma, a former pupil of Chancellor’s and Onslow St Audrey’s schools, was brought up in Old Hatfield and WGC, but had lived in Reading for several years.

However she often visited friends and family in Times Territory, where she sang and played guitar in music venues such as the Green Room in The Doctor’s Tonic pub, WGC.

Anthony said: “Sometimes when I watch Britain’s Got Talent, I know she would have blown them away.”

Diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 14, she struggled to hold down a regular job, even though she graduated in English at Reading University.

Anthony continued: “She loved my two girls, When she came to see us she always brought the girls presents.

“People think mental illness is something you get over, but bipolar is a killer.”

Emma’s mother died several years ago, but her father lives in France.


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