Heartbroken Aberdeen woman tells of anguish a year after fiance was found dead

Robert with his son, also called Robert

A heartbroken woman has spoken for the first time of her anguish a year after her fiance was found dead.

Dad-of-two Robert Reid, 26, was discovered at the Aberdeen flat of his partner Jackie Hanratty in Mastrick’s Arnage Place on October 26, 2016.

Speaking a year after his death, Jackie said she will never forget the impact Robert had on her life.

“I miss him so much and I can’t believe he is gone. Our son has been left without the protection of a father in his life – that is the worst part of it. I was his ‘ride or die’ princess and many times we were referred to as Bonnie and Clyde as, in each other’s eyes, we could do no wrong,” said Jackie, 29, of Aberdeen,

She added: “We had that relationship that many people were envious of, as no matter how tough things got we always came out stronger.”

Robert with fiancee Jackie Hanratty

Robert first attended Smithfield School and then went to Middlefield Primary School before moving up to Northfield Academy. Growing up, he attended Aberdeen Boxing Club at Cummings Park Community Centre.

As a teenager, he was regarded as a talented boxer and won the Scottish, British and Northern District titles in the same year.

Jackie said: “From the get-go of his life, he was always about family.

“He and his older brother Stewart were inseparable.

“Growing up, he was close to his mum.

“Stewart and Robert would get up to all kinds of mischief with each other like little boys would, and they were very close with their cousins.”

She added: “Robert and his mum used to joke about how long it has been since she last told him that she loved him and he would answer along the lines of ‘…not for two days, three hours and 36 seconds’.”

Robert with his son

Robert got together with Jackie in 2011 and they later had a son – also named Robert – who is now aged three. His daughter, from a previous relationship is Ashley, who is now aged 10.

“We have known each other all our lives and never was it the right time for us to get together, although the spark was always there and everyone could see it,” said Jackie.

“His Auntie Donna was the one to mention it to us,” said Jackie.

Two years into their relationship, the couple got engaged on October 26, 2013 – exactly three years before Robert died.

Jackie said: “He proposed to me on Frederick Street as I was away to go to the bingo.

“He said he had something he needed to talk to me about, which then led to him taking his hat off, getting down on one knee and asking if I’d marry him. Of course, I said ‘yes’.”

She added: “We would love to go away in the caravan and to Edinburgh I went into early labour with our son Robert William David Reid on April 26, 2015.

“That day, I saw Robert turn from a boy into a man and instantly knew this was our family from now until the end of time.

“The love in that room was unbelievable.”

Jackie said Robert was a huge support as their son had been looked after in a neonatal unit in the early stages of his life.

“Robert was by my side every step through it all and took a lot of the stress off me,” she said.

“From baby Robert being released from hospital to his dad’s last day, the three of us were always together.”

She added: “He loved his family and what was coming of our lives. We did struggle like any couple would and not everything was a bed of roses, but we had each other and could get through anything.

“In the final days of Robert’s life we went to the safari park in Stirling and baby Robert was over the moon sitting on his daddy’s knee driving through seeing the animals.

“We went on holiday to Benidorm at Christmas 2014 and had a second holiday in Thailand in 2015.

“As always, Robert had our son strapped to him and was making it a happy, fun adventure for him.”

Jackie said she was “heartbroken” after being told her fiance had died and that their son is not yet old enough to fully understand what happened.

She added: “Baby Robert now looks to the stars and says his daddy is the brightest star in the sky and often he talks to him to the skies above.”

Robert leaves his mum Tootsie, dad Stewart and brother Stewart.

He also leaves aunts Donna, Angela, Carol, Jeannie and Evelyn, uncles Billy. Ricky, Charles, Robert and Mark, grandmothers Evelyn and Margaret, as well as cousins. Robert was also close to his late grandfather Billy.

Darren Barnes, known as Riley, appeared at the High Court in Glasgow in September accused of murdering Robert.

During the hearing, Riley’s defence QC Ian Duguid entered a not guilty plea on behalf of his client. Riley had a trial date fixed for next year.