Family Uncovers Abusive Relationship Leading to Young Mother’s Death

Family Uncovers Abusive Relationship Leading to Young Mother’s Death

Caitlin Hannaway thought her final sisterly duty would be clearing out the clothes of her beloved sister, Demi.

Less than a month before, Demi had tragically taken her own life in the home she shared with her partner and two children.

Still in shock from the sudden loss, Caitlin found herself reaching under Demi’s bed for yet another pair of shoes when she made a startling discovery: Demi’s smashed phone.

“It was Demi’s phone, the one dad had bought her,” recalls Caitlin. “It was bright red, her favorite color, and she always had it with her.

But it was all smashed.” The sight of the broken phone sparked confusion and suspicion, leading Caitlin and her family on a harrowing journey for answers.

The Search for Truth

Despite being unable to access the phone’s contents, the questions raised by its discovery propelled the Hannaway family into action.

The investigation eventually led them to a courtroom where, earlier this month, Demi’s partner, Andrew Brown, was convicted of abusing her.

The evidence against Brown came from messages and social media content Demi had recorded while she was alive, which Caitlin, in another act of sisterly devotion, managed to access using her knowledge of Demi’s passwords.

The Evidence of Abuse

Demi’s social media accounts revealed a chilling pattern of abuse. There were selfies showing Demi with bruises on her face and neck, and disturbing conversations on Facebook Messenger.

Brown’s messages were filled with threats and derogatory comments, including “Hope u die,” “Cancerous cow,” and “Fat slag.”

More poignant were Demi’s responses, which indicated she was acutely aware of her perilous situation but felt trapped.

In one message, she warns Brown that his abusive texts are being documented for her lawyer. Brown’s reply is chilling: “Piece of s***… suggest u f**k off and die.”

Family’s Pain and Regret

The Hannaway family, including Demi’s parents Helen and John, are devastated by the realization that they missed the signs of Demi’s suffering. “I welcomed that boy into our home and treated him like a son.

If I’d known, well, I believe Demi would still be here today,” says Helen.

Demi’s siblings were also unaware of the full extent of the abuse. Caitlin and other sisters had observed troubling signs but were sworn to secrecy by Demi. “She always wanted things to be perfect,” Caitlin reflects. “Her clothes, her house.

Her relationships too. I think that must have been why she never wanted to let any of us see that it wasn’t perfect.”

The Courtroom Verdict

Earlier this month, Brown was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison after admitting to threatening and abusive behavior against Demi from January 1, 2019, to May 13, 2021.

The court heard that Brown assaulted Demi on numerous occasions, including when she had a child in her arms. He had a history of throttling her and even opened a car door while she was driving, endangering her and their young passengers.

Questions for the Police

Given what they now know, the Hannaways are appalled that the police ruled almost immediately that there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Demi’s death.

Despite Brown’s known criminal history, including previous assaults on Demi, the police quickly concluded the case was a straightforward suicide. “They failed to investigate,” Helen says. “They didn’t even search that room.”

Seeking Justice and Answers

The Hannaway family has filed a formal complaint against Police Scotland, demanding answers about Demi’s death and the circumstances leading up to it.

They question whether her suicide was a direct result of the abuse she felt she could not escape. “We owe it to her,” Helen states, nodding to pictures of Demi, with her bright red hair and wide smile.

Life After Tragedy

Demi’s two young daughters now live with their grandparents. The youngest, just 11 weeks old at the time of Demi’s death, calls Helen “Mum.” The eldest, who remembers her mother, often strokes Demi’s photograph.

The family continues to grapple with the unanswered questions surrounding Demi’s death. Helen and John were aspirational parents who had high hopes for their children.

Demi, who excelled academically and worked in a pharmaceutical company, seemed to have a bright future.

But meeting Brown in 2016 marked the beginning of a tragic turn in her life.


The Hannaways’ pursuit of justice for Demi is far from over. They continue to seek answers and accountability for the police’s handling of the case.

As they navigate this painful journey, they remain committed to uncovering the full truth behind Demi’s tragic death and ensuring that her memory is honored with the justice she deserves.