Family of murdered teen Samantha Madgin patrols Rising Sun Country Park after alleged rape

Samantha's mother and sister have formed the Pink Angels Team to help others feel safe in the park, wearing pink hoodies to ensure they are recognisable. Credit: NCJMedia Syndication

The family of murdered teenager Samantha Madgin is carrying out patrols at a Wallsend park to help the community feel safe after a woman was allegedly raped.

At roughly 4pm on Monday 28 March, police where called Rising Sun Country Park, where a 63-year-old woman reported she had been forced to the ground and raped.

An investigation was immediately launched by Northumbria Police's Safeguarding unit and the victim supported by specially-trained officers.

On Saturday 2 April, a 34-year-old man appeared in court charged with rape.

To help residents feel safer, Samantha Madgin's family - including mum Alison and sister Carly - have launched a voluntary outreach team to patrol the park.

Samantha was just 18 when she was stabbed to death in Wallsend by young killer Jordan Jobson. Since the tragedy in 2007, Alison has worked tirelessly to educate young people about the dangers of carrying knives and set up Samantha's Legacy.

Samantha Madgin Credit: Family photo

They have formed the Pink Angels Team to help others feel safe in the park, wearing pink hoodies to ensure they are recognisable. Visitors are able to chat with them or even join them on their walks in a bid to put people at ease.

Carly said keeping people safe is "their passion" and said both Samantha and their brother Lee, who died after a routine foot operation, would be "proud" of what they're doing: "We lost both Samantha and Lee and I think they were so proud to be from North Tyneside and I think they would be proud of what we're doing by keeping people safe, that's our passion.

"I feel like people watch the news and they're seeing all the bad things that are happening and people are getting scared. They don't want their kids to be out but we don't want people to stop socialising and stop going out. There are good people and if we all stick together we overcome the bad things.

"I'm quite proud to come from North Tyneside and at a time like this, everyone sticks together. We're all just trying to make things better."

The Pink Angels Team at Rising Sun Country Park. Credit: NCJMedia Syndication

The Pink Angels Team patrolled for the first time on Monday evening and will continue doing so every Monday and Friday between 5.30pm-7.30pm for the next two weeks. Two officers from Northumbria Police were also in attendance.

"We want to be there a couple of hours just to make people feel safe. We've seen that some people are changing their routes and are not taking their dogs out for walks there anymore," Carly continued.

"Even my auntie, she did that walk for a number of years with her dogs around Rising Sun but now she doesn't feel like they can do that anymore, and it's a shame that people are fearful.

"We just want to be there so people feel safer. They can walk with us or have a chat with us. It's about bringing the community together as well."

Lindsey Pendlebury, from Hadrian Lodge, was one of around a dozen women who donned a pink hoodie and turned out on Monday night to help others feel safe

She said: "I know after the incident last week that people aren't feeling safe, that they're not comfortable going for their normal dog walk or jog. I want to help bring that safe community spirit back, to make people feel they can return to the park again."

The group will walk the park for two hours on an evening to act as company for lone walkers. Credit: NCJMedia Syndication

Diane McDonnell from Wallsend also joined Carly and the group. She said: "I'm here tonight to support other women and let them know they can come out for a walk. I walk here every day, but since last week's incident I haven't been up here at all.

"I also want to show support to the victim. She has been so brave and we want to help her get her strength back knowing that we are behind her."

It will be 15 years this year since Samantha passed away and although Carly admits some days are still "really hard" she said helping others through Samantha's Legacy is her "therapy".

She said: "I always say everyone thinks time heals. It will be 15 years this year and I would not say it's got easier; it's like I live two different lives. Some days I'm more emotional than others. But doing Samantha's Legacy for me personally, it's like therapy and that keeps me going. The support we get from the community is just amazing too and it all makes it worthwhile."