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By Gemma Handy

The mother-of-three apparently stabbed to death in St John’s on Saturday – and who would have celebrated her 46th birthday today – has been remembered as a hard working woman devoted to her children.

Simone Whyte was looking forward to meeting her new baby grandson when she visited her homeland of Jamaica next month.

Instead of the celebration the popular hairdresser had planned for Friday night at the Anchorage Inn in McKinnons to mark her birthday, her loved ones will gather to mourn her passing.

A candlelight vigil will take place on the evening to remember Whyte who had lived in Antigua for the last few years. The invited attendees are being asked to make a small donation to help repatriate her body so her family can bury her back home.

Alden Smith – the father of Whyte’s fourth child, Tian, who died at the age of three – told Observer that although the pair were no longer together, they remained close friends.

He spoke of the moment he heard the terrible news.

“I was at work and I got a call that Simone had got hurt. I left to see if I could render any assistance. When I reached there she was slumped on the floor, dead,” he said.

Smith, a police officer and firefighter, said Whyte’s three remaining children who all live in Jamaica were taking her death very hard.

“They are not doing well. They were expecting their mum home in December; she wanted to see her grandson. Her daughter recently had a baby boy and she wanted to see him and spend a little time and then come back to Antigua. Unfortunately, it didn’t go that way,” he said.

Smith described Whyte as “very hard-working”.

“She would go into the salon very early in the morning, and sometimes work until after two or three in the morning. It was work, work and home,” he explained.

“She was a lady of her word. If she was going to do something for you, she would do it to the best of her ability. She was a good homemaker, an excellent cook, someone who put family first.

“She loved all her kids. Everything she did was for them. She didn’t deserve to die this way.”

Saturday night’s incident, which took place on the corner of Market and Tanner streets shortly after 8.30pm, remains under investigation by police.

The 35-year-old man suspected of killing her was still in hospital up to print time last night. Lawyer Wendel Robinson, who has been retained by the accused’s family to represent him, told Observer he had undergone emergency surgery for wounds to his neck and chin apparently sustained during the incident.

He was said to be experiencing periodic blackouts yesterday but is expected to recover, Robinson said.

Police spokesman Inspector Frankie Thomas confirmed charges had yet to be laid.

The Jamaican consulate in Antigua is providing assistance to Whyte’s family and loved ones.

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