UK Mum was destroyed by son's murder - but her strength in later life was inspiring last minute news
PremierLeague-News.Com- 'She was in a dark place, but at the end of her life, she got up and spread her wings'
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Miranda Maynard's life was torn apart in August 2003. Her beloved son Justin - a 'big, friendly giant' - was gunned down in the street. He was just 19-years-old. His killer has never been brought to justice. Justin's family still don't know who took his life that night in south Manchester. For years, Miranda was lost. She hid away and barely spoke to others. But, as time went on, she found incredible inner strength. Miranda dedicated the rest of her life to helping others - volunteering, being an 'agony aunt' and being a 'mum to everyone'. Her daughter noticed a drastic change following her mother's appearance on a TV show. Towards the end of her life, she 'got up and spread her wings', having pulled herself from the depths of despair. Miranda Maynard (Image: Maynard family) Tragically, she was found dead at her Newton Heath flat, aged 57, last April. Her loved ones are still coming to terms with another loss - and the added heartache of not knowing what killed her. Sign up to the free MEN email newsletter Get the latest updates from across Greater Manchester direct to your inbox with the free MEN newsletter You can sign up very simply by following the instructions here An inquest into Miranda's death was held this week, but the cause remains a mystery. Unanswered questions are all too common for the Maynard family. Her daughter Maxine gave evidence - via videolink - at the Manchester Coroners' Court hearing. She told coroner Nigel Meadows: "She never married, she had myself and my brother. "My brother was murdered in Moss Side when he was 19-years-old. My mum never got over it. "She always wanted to be with Justin. "I think it was hard because they never convicted anybody of his murder." Following the hearing, Maxine spoke to the Manchester Evening News. She now lives in Leeds - her mother's city of birth. Maxine moved to Yorkshire to be closer to her mum's family. Miranda, left, with daughter Maxine, right (Image: Mayard family) She said her mother's death - and lack of an explanation - has left her and her loved ones feeling 'numb'. Maxine, 41, said the family has struggled since losing Justin 18-years-ago. "It was absolutely devastating, it affected all of us," she said. "I left home years before, but with my mum, it was so visible, the grief. "It was the first death in the whole family, it was a real shock. "You don’t expect something like that to happen. "Her world fell apart. Since I lost my brother, I’ve had three more children. "They didn’t get to see her before. "There was just a massive difference in how she was before and after Justin's death." Justin Maynard (Image: Maynard family) Maxine, a mum-of-four, said her eldest son - aged five at the time of Justin's death - remembers his uncle. Speaking about her child seeing his grandmother in pain, Maxine added: "So many times she would get upset and break down, for him it was hard to understand. "He knew what was going on. It was better for him to know rather than not know. "He would have felt pushed out as there were police around and all of that. "I had to give some kind of explanation - my mum was always like that with me." Justin was shot on Tugford Close, Moss Side, on August 26, 2003. He was found on the ground bleeding from a bullet wound to the back. When Miranda arrived at the scene, paramedics had already pronounced her son dead. Miranda Maynard (Image: Manchester Evening News) To this day, nobody has been convicted. "It would have never brought him back, but it would have given her some justice," Maxine said. "My mum would have loved to have had that justice, but it didn’t come. "I think she just took each day as it came. "She just put all her efforts in going to Justin's grave. "She lived in Moss Side for so many years and saw so much of that from other families who were not getting justice. "Justin wasn’t a gang member. "Up to this day, we still have no explanation why. "That in itself is hard to live with." There was fresh heartbreak for Miranda in 2017, when she discovered police had stored parts of Justin's remains for over a decade without her knowing. She was forced to relive his brutal murder after officers knocked at her door. Miranda Maynard in Piccadilly Gardens (Image: Maynard Family) It came after it was revealed the remains of 180 victims of crime were secretly stored by Greater Manchester Police for years without the knowledge of their relatives. Miranda told the M.E.N. that while the news that part of Justin's kidney was not buried with him was shocking, the real pain came from the fact that her son's murder remained unsolved. Maxine said her brother was the 'most gentle, family person'. She added: " He was my only brother, we only had each other. "M y mum would emphasise, 'you only have each other, be there for each other '. "It’s been hard. I was his big sister and I always looked out for him.
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. " As the time came for Miranda's inquest hearing, Maxine prepared to tell coroner Mr Meadows of her family's heartbreak. The court heard Miranda was found dead having earlier complained of suspected food poisoning. Mr Meadows recorded an open conclusion, stating that the evidence did not 'fully or fairly' show how Miranda died. In a statement read to the court, Maxine said her mum was born in Leeds. She moved to Manchester in 1983 and worked as a cleaner at the Arndale. Miranda, the court heard, hardly drank alcohol and only took prescription drugs. She moved from Moss Side to Whalley Range in 2017.
(Image: Maynard family)
In 2003, she reported suffering from stomach problems, which were investigated by medics, but it wasn’t clear if she was diagnosed with anything. Maxine said her mum had complained of feeling unwell and that she thought she had food poisoning. She last saw her mother in March 2020. A toxicology report showed Miranda had a small amount of alcohol in her system. The prescribed drug Gabapentin - used mainly to treat pain relief - was detected, the court heard. The inquest was told there was no evidence she had coronavirus, or any condition relating to her lungs. The cause of death was recorded as '1A unascertained'. Concluding, Mr Meadows said there were unanswered questions. He told Maxine it was not possible to say when her mother died, but that it was time between April 3 and 24. "It’s very very rare that someone dies of food poisoning," he added.
'She never judged, she had friend of all walks of life'
(Image: Maynard family)
"The evidence does not fully or fairly show how your mother came by her death. It has not been possible to find the cause of death on this occasion. "You have my very sincere condolences." Maxine is coming came to terms with what she heard at the inquest. "We thought the coroner would have an answer," she added. "We’ve been left feeling quite numb." But, reflecting on her mother's later years, she spoke of her kindess and compassion. Her mum, she said, was a 'typical people's person' and an 'agony aunt'. "She never judged, she had friend of all walks of life, she went to places like Help the Homeless - she volunteered there," Maxine added. " The amount of people that have come up to me saying 'your mum was such a lovely person'. She was. "She would help anyone. "Even just a listening ear or if someone needed advice.
Documents from Justin's childhood
(Image: Manchester Evening News)
"People thought she was wonderful. I was blessed she was my mum. "She was like a mum to everyone. "She was very sympathetic to people and their needs . "She took time out to try and understand and help them - and point them in the right direction. "She felt she was doing the right thing. She believed that’s what God wanted her to do. "T hat’s where she got her worth in her life." In the aftermath of Justin's death, Ms Maynard found it difficult to 'say hello' to people, Maxine said. She would write in her diary each time she visited her son's grave and 'kept herself to herself'.
Miranda Maynard in 2017
(Image: Manchester Evening News)
But after she appeared on an episode of The Secret Millionaire, Maxine saw a change in her mum. " After watching that show, I realised she got stronger," she said. "The person presenting said they were not an emotional person and not affected by other people’s problems, but when he was sat talking to my mum, he was welling up. "That was so massive to me. "She touched his hand and asked if he was okay. To see that transition, in that moment - that she could console somebody else over her own grief - it was massive. "They paid for my brother’s headstone. "When they say 'if you put good out there, it has its way of coming back around to you', I think of all the good my mum has done, maybe that's why certain things have come around. "It's like a blessing."
An old school work book belonging to Justin
(Image: Manchester Evening News)
Miranda was the first of seven siblings to pass away. Maxine said it's been hard for the entire family. " It’s been awful, it’s taken a lot out of them," she said. "She was the most bubbly, liveliest character. "She would always come over and do her utmost best to do the rounds and visit them all. "She is so truly missed. It was just a shock." Reflecting on her mum's generous spirit, Maxine added: "I think my mum would want to say how thankful she was for the people she had been involved with. "She spent the majority of her life living in Manchester, with Manchester people. "She had so many dealings with different people and she is remembered by them. "She was thankful for them being part of her life. "In 2019, she went to Tunisia on her own. That showed how brave she was. "She was in a dark place in 2003 and recent years, but at the end of her life, she got up and spread her wings."