son of accused ‘Twitter troll’ Brenda
Leyland, was among the first to pay
tribute to his mother, with the message:
“I love you mum and will miss you
Ben Leyland posted the words on Facebook
and Twitter, shortly after Ms Leyland,
63, of Burton Overy, was found dead at
the Marriott Hotel, in Enderby on
Friends of the 30-year-old musician, who
now lives in Los Angeles, posted
messages of condolence to him.
Ben, who is the eldest of Ms Leyland’s
two sons, had not long before posted “I
am love I am light, thanks to you”.
Ms Leyland’s death came two days after
she was confronted at her home by Sky
News reporter Martin Brunt, who asked
her about claims she had used her
Twitter account to send abusive messages
to Kate and Gerry McCann, of Rothley.
Following the accusations, neighbours
told the Mercury they believed Ms
Leyland had "fled" the village.
Her body was discovered in a room at the
Marriott Hotel, in Smith Way, Grove
Park, at 1.45pm on Saturday.
While the cause of Ms Leyland’s death
has not yet been confirmed, police have
said it was “unexpected” and was not
being treated as suspicious. This has
widely been interpreted as suicide.
Some residents in the village of Burton
Overy, where Ms Leyland lived, expressed
sorrow at her death as the news spread
“I feel sorry for the McCanns and I also
feel sorry for the family of Brenda,”
“Nothing is worth taking your own life
“I was surprised when I heard the news
but I was surprised about the whole
“It is very sad, very, very sad.”
However, some were not so measured in
their opinion, with one person claiming
Ms Leyland had “shamed the village” by
sending the alleged abusive messages to
“I think she’s only got herself to blame
and no-one else,” the resident added.
A spokesperson for Sky News told the
Mercury yesterday: “We were saddened to
hear of the death of Brenda Leyland.
“It would be inappropriate to speculate
or comment further at this time.”
A spokeswoman for the Marriott Hotel
said: “We are very sad to confirm the
death of a guest at the Leicester
Marriott Hotel and our thoughts go out
to the family and friends of the
“As this is a police matter and an
investigation is underway, we are unable
to comment further and inquiries should
be directed to the police.”
In a statement, Leicestershire Police
said: “Officers were called following a
report of Brenda Leyland being found
deceased at a hotel room in Smith Way,
“Ms Leyland’s death is not being treated
as suspicious and a file is being
prepared for the Coroner.
“Officers acting on behalf of the
Coroner will look into the circumstances
surrounding and prior to her unexpected
Who was Brenda Leyland?
Brenda Leyland, 63, had lived in Burton
Overy, in Leicestershire, for around 15
years, since 1999.
She was a church-going mother, with two
sons, Ben, 30, who now lives in Los
Angeles and his younger brother Dan, who
is believed to still live in
It is believed she was divorced but
still uses her married name of Leyland.
It has been reported that Ms Leyland was
educated at a convent school and studied
at Goldsmiths, University of London.