Woman who died last night was mother of three who fell on hard times

Paramedics battle to save Shelley's life

Around Shelley Pollard in the last moments of her life, there was frantic activity as the emergency services battled to revive her.

She lay on the ground on the Kingsbridge over the Stour close to the spot where she routinely begged to feed a ruinous drug habit.

Shelley, 42, had collapsed at just after 6pm. Paramedics fought to save her, but police confirmed this morning that she had later died.

She was a frequent sight on the bridge. In winter, she would be hidden beneath a bundle of sleeping bags and blankets, little of her showing save for a badly scarred nose, a devastating consequence of her addiction to heroin and crack.

When it was time to sleep, she would move to the spacious doorway of the Soundz n Sitez comic and record shop.

“Teardrop” knew Shelley Pollard

Just nine hours earlier before she collapsed, a friend known as Teardrop because of a tattoo on his face, had spoken with her.

Today, he said: “It’s so sad. We all feel it when one of our friends passes.”

Carrie Short, 37, was begging at the Westgate Towers this morning. She grew up with Shelley on the London Road Estate and both attended Beauherne Primary School, now part of the Canterbury Academy.

“Shelley was really bubbly and chatty,” Carrie said. “She was the life and soul of the street where we grew and would always have your back.”

Shelley had three children with different fathers. Carrie says that Shelley led a fairly ordinary life until about four years ago when a personal tragedy led her into the world of hard drugs and uncontrollable addiction.

Carrie Short was a friend of Shelley Pollard’s

She became addicted to a street drug known as snowball, a combination of heroin and crack which can be fatal.

Carrie added: “We tried to get her off it. We tried to get her on methadone.

“She always knew that she could go back to her mum’s on the estate if she got off the drugs.

“But she found it too difficult, too hard to break. She was very ill.”

Shelley’s mother Susan still lives in the same road where her daughter and Carrie grew up.

Speaking today, Susan said: “The police came round last night and told me what had happened.

Edd Withers regularly stopped to talk to Shelley

“I know there’s been lots of people talking about it on Facebook, but other than that I don’t really know what happened.

“Shelley lost her house and that’s how she ended up on the street. She lost everything.”

Police have said there are no suspicious circumstances around Shelley’s death.

They taped off the area where she collapsed and reopened it around 8pm.

Edd Withers, the chairman of Canterbury Pride and administrator of the Canterbury Residents Group on Facebook, knew of Shelley.

“I spoke to her regularly, she was so kind,” he said.

“In the snow, she just was so happy many people stopped to speak to her.

“But she refused any help anyone offered her. She was scared and addicted to drugs. It’s so very sad.”

If you have issues with substance misuse or know someone who has, you can contact the Turning Point charity via its website.

Alternatively, you can call FRANK for help and advice. The number is 0300 123 6600.


  1. Shelley Pollard’s personal business is not of yours to share, Canterbury Journal, or ours to read. Distasteful gossip mongering. Show some respect for this woman’s family.

  2. I passed her every day she was not on any drugs at all which was obvious and always fully conversant, and I asked several people who knew her on the street who told me she had TB …her nose had septicemia actually from a cut left untreated. She would keep picking at it as itched …I have passed her for a year and never even saw her drunk…then a month back i saw her nose had been hurt and she had a black eye which she refused to discuss. No one helped her she wasn’t a drug addict and her mother is shameful; for her pitiless excuses for her poor daughters life. I am more than sure she isn’t even ashamed living in her warm Canterbury house on her estate. She was a strong plucky little woman tiny and impossibly petite and cute …she would have been an adorable child. Everyone has a moment and hers happened when her father died afew years ago which left her bereft. up until that moment she lived in a house an ordinary mother raising her children. Instead of helping her with her grief she was left to rot and fighting for her children in court. The frightening thing is that one day her children will come of age and look for her to find out their tiny pluckly mother died homeless on the streets of Canterbury where every one would chat with her but no one helped even in a bitter winter. In death shewas left with no respect but excuses to excuse a lack of humanity. Stop spreading lies. Her children will read this possibly one day and I just want them to know she loved them very much and didn’t want to live on the street and it made her despondant to be without them.

  3. I think you should know the facts before you start putting Shelley’s mother down. her mother is the kindest sweetest person i know. no one left shelley to rot the courts took her children away. shelley had no choice in the matter that was down to the social services. shelley was a lovely warm hearted soul no family should have gone through what they went through. And her children will know as they grow that shelley loved her children and fought as hard as any mother can for her children. People that knew shelley family members friends etc will tell her children what a lovely woman she was and yes she sadly passed away on the streets even though she died that way she had love surrounding her.

  4. if you knew the proper facts about shelley and her family i say you leave your messages if you know shelleys mum as i do she has no one to turn to at this terrible time,her life not all plain sailin,to lose your husband and then do all you can after to help shelley and her boys and then to lose your daughter no matter what circumstances of how she died i cant believe how people would get through this,shelleys boys will now and have been cared for at times by sue,someone to put this lady down and write the story at 2am in the mornin ,i hope you never have to go through anything like this maybe some day you will


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