“The biggest challenge Hayley had to face in her life was her battle for her children. That battle took her from you.” ~ Statement from Hayley’s funeral
Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, England (Jan 26, 2017): A loving young mother abruptly began convulsing and then collapsed in family court while awaiting a ruling concerning her children. Hayley Gascoigne suffered a cardiac arrest – literally dying of a broken heart. Hayley died in the arms of her sister, whom she called “my best friend“. Devastated family members said she died as a result of the stress inflicted on her by the family court. Mr. Gascoigne, father, said,”My daughter died in my other daughter’s arms. She died because of the stress.”
Hayley Gascoigne is described as “the most loving and caring person anyone could have ever met” and a “lovely, warm. kind person.” She was affectionately given the nickname “Goldilocks” for her beautiful blond hair. Hayley was 32 years old, the mother of four children. According to family, “her children were her world.” That is certainly evident on Hayley’s Facebook profile, a dedication to her children – depicting her recent pregnancy, the children’s milestones, their smiling faces, and time spent playing together. This close, loving family is now joined together in an unfathomable grief.
The hearing held the day Hayley died was presided over by Judge Jessica Pemberton, the purpose of the hearing included an explanation of why the court used its powers to ban public reporting of the case. The case is also described as a “non-criminal matter”. The family court system in the UK operates in secret, very little – if any – details are released to the public on proceedings. Parents who speak out are faced with contempt of court and may be subjected to fines, jail or loss of visitation and/or custody of children. According to current law, details of family proceedings can not be reported for legal reasons.
Judge Richardson QC has expressed his condolences on behalf of the legal community, saying, in part,”…the court is deeply saddened by the news…”
Hayley’s funeral was held on February 28th at Woodlands Crematorium. Colorful balloons, vibrant as Hayley’s smile, led the funeral procession leading to her graveside. Her white coffin was decorated with butterflies.
“She fought with every breath for her children.” her sister remembers.