Murdered’ model was loving mum who brought daughter to UK for ‘good education’

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A ‘murdered’ model was a loving mum who brought her daughter to the UK for a ‘good education’, her best friend said.

Christina Rowe, 28, has been described as a ‘special’ person by her friend George Devereux, following the discovery of her body in the River Severn in Worcester last week.

Charles Byrne, 24, who lives in the city, has been charged with murder and attempted murder over the incident on February 10.

Ms Rowe, originally from the city of Angelese in the Philippines, came to the UK three years ago, Mr Devereux said.

The 30-year-old told The Mirror: “I think she came over (to Britain) for her daughter as the Philippines is quite poor.

“She moved away from all her friends to this strange little city. She wanted her daughter to have a good education.”

Mr Devereux, from Worcester, said Christina had a British passport as her dad is from the UK.

He added that the mother loved cooking, nature, literature, poetry, art and philosophy, although her main focus was her daughter.

“She was a very caring and loving mum. She had a really good relationship with her daughter. They were like sisters,” he added.

The pair, who lived in Worcester, used to enjoy going on long walks together, according to Mr Devereux.

Describing Christina as a person, he added: “She has always been very mysterious. She kept to herself a lot and was quite quiet.

“She was a very special and unique person. Life to Christina was very magical.

“Everything was interesting, she wanted to learn lots about different cultures and appreciated things other people would just walk past.

“I used to refer to her more as a force of nature than a person.

“There was no controlling her, she followed her own beat. It was a tornado you hoped to get swept up in.”

Mr Devereux, a photographer, met Christina through modelling and said she also had cleaning jobs and worked at House of Fraser in Worcester.

However, Christina, who was a single mum, had been furloughed for the past year due to the pandemic.

Byrne did not enter a plea when he appeared at Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court on February 12.

He was dressed in a grey sweatshirt and had shaved blond hair and wore a blue disposable mask over his mouth.

The accused stood looking down at the floor with his arms crossed and only spoke to confirm his name, address and date of birth during the two-minute hearing.

Ralph Robyns-Landricombe, prosecuting, said: “In relation to this particular matter there are two matters which are serious matters.

“One of murder and attempted murder which are both indictable only offences.”

Gerrard Vahey, defending, said: “Mr Byrne is aware of what’s happening today but there is no useful representations that I can make at this stage.”

Byrne was denied bail after the court heard there was a risk he would fail to surrender to police and also may attempt to interfere with witnesses.