Gran-of-5 dies after being found on fire in woods as heartbroken family pay tribute to 'lovely woman'

A GRANDMOTHER died after she was found on fire in woodland in Manchester, leaving her family devastated.

Julie Ainsley, 48, was discovered following reports of a person on fire in Moston on Saturday evening.

Touching tributes have poured in for the gran-of-five who, according to loved ones, had been struggling with her mental health.

Her heartbroken daughter Jade Riley told Manchester Evening News that her mum was "always happy and making people laugh."

She said: "She was obviously battling with her issues, but most of the time she made out she was fine.

"She had five grandchildren and one on the way and she loved her family."

Her former partner Steven Riley said how she "struggled with every day life".

He said: "She was great, she was a mum and a grandma", he said.

"She lived in Moston all of her life. We still got on really well and I loved her, she was my kid's mam.

"She struggled with her mental health and it had got worse, she just struggled with everyday life."

She left a message to her family before she went into the woodland.

Dozens of her friends and family members have flooded social media with tributes for her.


EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

  • CALM,, 0800 585 858
  • Heads Together,
  • Mind,, 0300 123 3393
  • Papyrus,, 0800 068 41 41
  • Samaritans,, 116 123

One friend wrote: " Can’t believe what I’m hearing Julie, you were so loved and such a lovely woman.

"Thank you for all the memories over the years growing up, I just hope you're at peace Julie. We all love you."

Another posted: "Love you Julie if only you knew how loved you was and made everyone smile.

"I really hope you're at peace now, goodnight godbless."

"Absolutely devastated about you Julie my heart hurts for your girls and grandkids.

"You was one in a million juju," wrote another pal

Greater Manchester Police confirmed they had been called to the woodlands near Williams Road just after 6pm on November 14.

They said: "Emergency services attended and sadly found the body of a woman.

"Her death is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be passed to the coroner."

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Fire Service said: “We were called at 6.01pm to a person on fire in an area of woodland off Williams Road in Moston.

“Initial enquiries suggest a fire in a woodland area which involved a female casuality.

"Fire investigation, the North West Ambulance Service and Greater Manchester Police are all in attendance.”

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