Father’s legacy for tragic Caroline, 19

Scarborough artist Alan Stuttle, and below, his daughter Caroline.
Scarborough artist Alan Stuttle, and below, his daughter Caroline.

A SCARBOROUGH artist has spoken of the lasting legacy he has created for his murdered daughter ahead of the 10th anniversary of her death next month.

Gap year student Caroline Stuttle, 19, of York, was killed in April 2002 when a drug-fuelled robber pushed her off a bridge at Bundaberg in Australia.

He was convicted of her murder in October 2004 and is serving a life sentence.

Caroline’s father Alan Stuttle, who runs a gallery in North Marine Road, has refused to wallow in self-pity in the years since, instead turning a seemingly life-shattering negative into a positive.

Speaking ahead of a planned memorial service at York Minister on April 10, he said: “You can spend your entire life being bitter about what’s happened to you, or you can think about how wonderful the world really is, and how wonderful Caroline was.”

Mr Stuttle has used the tragedy to help create a legacy for his daughter, who he said “enjoyed every moment of her time here”.

He set up a £500 bursary for talented young artists in Scarborough in the hope of spurring on children to follow in his daughter’s footsteps.

“As a father, you can’t help her any more, but there’s so many talented people in the world who you can help,” he said. “It’s definitely something that she’d have liked.”

He insists optimism is the only way to deal with a tragedy, adding: “Out of evil, positivity always comes.”

And on the subject of her killer, who was jailed for life in 2004, he said he just feels sorrow for all the lives ruined.

“You just have to look at that and think it’s another life lost to drugs,” Mr Stuttle said. “You think of his family, and wonder how they must feel, wondering what they’ve done for him to turn out like that.”

The public service, to be held at York Minister, will be a chance for people to share their memories of Caroline.

Mr Stuttle added “I want people to come together and remember the happy times they had with her.

“Then I think it’s time to let it go.”

The service will begin at 5.15pm and will feature music and readings.