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14 Jan 2018

BY Jennifer Morris


Man charged with murder of Tui agent Cassie Hayes

A man has been charged with the murder of Southport travel agent Cassie Hayes, who was attacked in the Tui branch where she worked.

Cassie Hayes.jpg

The 28-year-old was attacked at the Chapel Street branch in Southport and died from her injuries

Andrew Burke, 30, of Vincent Street, St Helens, has been charged with murder and will appear from custody at South Sefton Magistrates’ Court in Bootle today (Monday), the Liverpool Echo reports.


A fundraising campaign for Hayes’ family has reached £4,880. The original target was £1,000.


28-year-old Hayes was targeted while working at the Chapel Street branch in Southport town centre at about 1.25pm on Saturday afternoon (January 13).

Police cordoned off the branch and surrounding shops as forensic officers investigated.


A 30-year-old man from the St Helens area was arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in custody for questioning, Sky News reports. Officers believe the incident was domestic-related.


Travel Gossip’s Bruce Martin was in Southport on Saturday with his family and saw the helicopters land as he drove home.


He said: “I checked later to see what had happened and saw the terrible news, so with a heavy heart I posted the news on Travel Gossip.”


Within a few hours the post had been seen by thousands of people, and by late Saturday evening it had received more than 1,000 reactions and 500 heartfelt comments.


Martin sought the opinion of commenters on the group about the idea of launching a fundraising campaign, and subsequently set up a Go Fund Me page to raise money for Hayes’ family, which has already almost quadrupled its target.


The page reads: “Everyone who works in travel has been deeply upset about what has happened to a fellow travel colleague, Cassie Hayes, in Southport on Saturday January 13.


“Cassie was the assistant manager at the Tui store and was well-known to many in travel.


“Many of us never met Cassie but we *know* that if we did, we would have thought she was great. We know, because we are travel.


“We understand that Cassie had a daughter and so on behalf of everyone in travel I would like to propose that we come together and contribute to fund to help Cassie’s family as they see fit.


“Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by this terrible incident, including all the Tui staff.”


The hashtags #agentsunited and #wearetravel are also circulating, with Trevor Davis of 3For coming up with the former.


“This kind of thing is really out of my comfort zone but as the head of Travel Gossip I felt that I had a responsibility to do something,” continued Martin.


“I appreciate that a fundraising page isn’t going to reverse this terrible tragedy but it does give travel people the opportunity to make a small positive difference.


“I didn’t know Cassie but I know several people in the industry that have told me they knew her. I get the feeling that BDMs who cover that patch knew her very well.”


A Tui spokesperson said: “It is with great sadness that we can confirm Cassie Hayes from our Southport Tui retail store tragically died in an incident on Saturday January 13.


"We send our deepest sympathies to her friends and family.

"We’re doing everything possible to assist the local police with their investigation and support our staff and customers at this difficult time."


To donate to Travel Gossip’s fundraising campaign, click here.


Detectives are appealing for anyone with information to contact Merseyside Police on 0151 777 3094 or the Crimestoppers line anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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