Family members say Julie Freeny suffocated after collapsing at TfL bus stop in Kensington
The family of a 60-year-old woman who died in Notting Hill on Thursday morning has said that she had been a much-loved mother and grandmother.
Julie Freeny had been on her way to a taxi rank to pay for a train ride when she collapsed at around 7.30am at a bus stop in Penelope Street.
The family say that the older woman lived in a building in Marylebone, central London, and had been visiting friends in Kensington for a few days before the incident.
Officers responded to the accident and the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
A 28-year-old woman who was arrested on suspicion of murder and has since been released on bail while inquiries continue.
Emergency services were called to the scene and a postmortem examination on Friday showed that she died as a result of a major cardiac episode.
Firefighters and the London Ambulance Service were also called to the scene.
Julie’s son, Matthew Freeny, said: “Julie was the best mum in the world to our three children, growing up with us in the 1970s and 1980s, she was a big part of our life and she will be missed so much.
“The family is obviously distraught by her death and our thoughts are with her close family and friends.
“Julie was also a keen member of St Walburga’s Church in Kensington, where she used to sit in the pews with my dad who is from Dorking.
“My stepmum and aunt are two of the greatest people I know and we are now leaning on them for support at this difficult time.”
The senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Jon Chadwick, said: “We understand that witnesses saw a woman fall over as she walked along Penelope Street, Kensington and moments later a man approached the woman and wrapped his arm around her.
“Police and our colleagues from the London Ambulance Service attended the scene and a number of witnesses were still on scene when I was called at 8.05am.
“A 73-year-old man who was on his way to the bus stop was questioned by officers but he has been released on bail pending further inquiries.
“It is too early to establish the precise circumstances surrounding Julie’s death but we are treating it as unexplained. Our investigation is ongoing and we are working to piece together her final movements.
“I would appeal to anyone who saw Julie before her fall or any events at the bus stop to contact us at Kensington and Chelsea CID on 020 8785 8244 or text 19016. Information can also be given anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Matthew’s father Martin Freeny, 81, said he was shocked to learn of the death. “She was very much liked by everybody, she was a big member of St Walburga’s Church.
“The church is just praying for her children and her grandchildren now. They loved her dearly. She was such a lovely, kind lady, a member of the church for 40 years. She was just such a lovely person.”
Several residents in Kensington were shocked to hear of the death.
One man said: “She would come up the hill and park her car. She would walk around collecting stuff or whatever. We don’t know what happened.”
Another said: “I saw her all the time. She was just a sweet old lady. I’m absolutely shocked.”