Double-death tragedy mother was 'vibrant and hardworking'

A woman who was found dead alongside her disabled daughter was yesterday described as "vibrant" and "hardworking" by her other daughter.

Stephania Wolf, 67, is believed to have died in her bed at her house in Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, six weeks ago.

She provided round-the-clock care to her daughter Sam, who was reportedly paralysed from the neck down.

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As a result the 29-year-old, who also suffered from epilepsy and heart problems, could not care for herself after her mother died and is believed to have starved to death.

Both were found on Saturday at the house on Marford Road after a man delivering leaflets raised the alarm. Their bodies had partially decomposed.

Earlier, it emerged her twice-married mother had refused help from social workers. Hertfordshire County Council fitted the family's house with rails and ramps and offered more support but this was refused.

Sam could also have taken a place at a day care centre but this was turned down by her mother.

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Yesterday, Hertfordshire Police released a statement from Ms Wolf's daughter by her first husband Henryk Sosnowski.

In it the unnamed woman said: "My mum was someone who loved life. (She was) vibrant, hardworking and she loved going out.

"At aged just 21 she was known as one of the best hairdressers in her home town and very driven. As a child, I always admired my mum and wanted to be just like her. To me, she was wonderful."

Ms Wolf was born in Poland and after splitting from Mr Sosnowski she moved to Vienna to work in an upmarket hairdressing salon.

There she met her second husband John Backler, with whom she had her disabled daughter Sam. The marriage later broke down.