The girlfriend of a teen killed in a city center attack said he made her the “happiest girl alive” in a heartbreaking tribute.
Rhianna Draper posted the emotional message to Facebook for partner Michael Toohey, who died following a brutal assault at the weekend.
The 18-year-old was beaten by up to eight men outside an internet café on Monument Place near London Road, Liverpool just before 6pm on Saturday.
He was rushed to Royal Liverpool Hospital by emergency services where he was tragically pronounced dead, the Liverpool Echo reports.
Michael was just months away from becoming a dad, with him and girlfriend Rhianna having recently moved into a new house to start their own family.
In her tribute Rhianna said: “He made me the happiest girl alive, we had it all right now and it’s all gone in the blink of an eye. He just wanted the best life with me and his boy who he always talked about no matter que.
“I wish I could have him back, life’s not fair, this isn’t fair, why oh why. Thank you for being here every step dad, love you so much.” Dad Mr Draper said Michael “brought nothing but happiness” to his daughter.
He wrote on Facebook: “This beautiful boy, Michael brought nothing but happiness to my beautiful daughter Rhianna Draper New happiness and love for one another and ready to start there beautiful little family in just a few months time. Words can’t describe the heartache right now seeing happiness ripped apart by this vile society we live in.
“A son, a brother, a nephew, a cousin, a boyfriend, a dad to be. Michael thank you for the love and happiness you gave to her, as a dad I was happy she found you. Goodnight God bless mate. RIP MICHEAL TOOHEY.”
On Tuesday, around 100 people attended a balloon release in memory of Michael at the scene of the tragic incident. Michael’s family paid tribute to their “kind, caring and courageous” son and urged anyone with information about his death from him to come forward.
The tribute read: “My son Michael Toohey was what you’d describe as a beautiful well mannered placid young man, soon to be a daddy to a young boy who’s due in just three months.
“Michael was academically clever at school and left Everton free school at 17 to go on to work with his brother-in-laws in a family business. Michael loved going to the gym and going on long bike rides with family and friends.
“Michael was always doing something for someone whether that be tormenting his sisters or teasing his nieces and nephews, he was such a character but never had a bad bone in his body, and never had a bad word to say about anybody.
“Michael was adored by everybody who had the pleasure to meet him. His cheeky smile would light up any room, he was kind, caring, courageous and idolized his sisters and was a brilliant uncle.
“Michael loved his mum and was never far from home he was very much all for his family so when he found out he was going to be a dad he was overjoyed. Michael and his partner had only recently moved into a new house together to start a family of their own he was so excited for what the future had in store for them, Michael knew it was going to be a boy before anyone else.
“No-one would have a bad word to say about Michael so when the family got the phone call to say Michael had been brutally attacked they had no idea who would be so cruel and that history was once again going to repeat itself on another young innocent young boy In 2003 Michael’s young cousin Johnny Delaney was attacked in Ellesmere Port and left to die days before his 16th birthday.
“Michael came from a beautiful accepting family who would welcome anybody and do anything for anyone in need. The family please ask if anybody knows or hears of anything related to Michael’s tragic death please come forward and prevent this from happening to anyone else’s innocent child.
“A boy full of potential and grace has had his life taken from him and his family left devastated who could be responsible for such a horrific act. Rest in paradise our beautiful boy. We will miss your cheeky face. Forever young Goodnight Godbless our beautiful boy Michael Toohey.”
Bouquets of flowers have been left at the scene as the murder investigation continues. Detectives are keen to speak to people who were seen standing at a bus stop on London Road and walking past TJ Hughes at the time of the incident who may have witnessed what happened. They are also appealing to a driver of a vehicle which was seen being driven erratically at the time.
Detective Chief Inspector Terry Davies said: “Although we have made an arrest our inquiries are still ongoing. This incident happened in a busy area of Liverpool City Center on Saturday evening.
“We know there were a number of people stood at bus stops on London Road, walking past TJ Hughes or driving along London Road who may have witnessed this incident or a vehicle driving erratically at that time. I am keen to appeal to those people to come forward so we can speak to them. Similarly anybody who may have mobile phone footage or dash cam footage then please come forward.”
Anyone with information on this incident can contact @MerPolCC, 101 or @CrimestoppersUK, anonymously on 0800 555 111 with reference 22000261976. Anyone with any footage, can upload this to be viewed by police via the following link to the NICE website.
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