A NEW mother was found dead at home by her partner when he returned from work.
Charity worker Diane Balneaves, 30, gave birth to baby Calum five months ago and was happy and healthy and enjoying motherhood.
But Diane’s partner Ewen Nicolson is now looking after his son by himself after he came home on Tuesday night to find her dead.
Diane worked at Edinburgh’s Royal Blind School for four years until last year.
A Hearts fan, she was well-known among the Edinburgh Monarchs speedway team as her father Charlie was a keen fundraiser.
A friend, who did not wish to be named, said: “All that we know at the moment is that her partner got home from work and found her dead.
“People who had seen her at the weekend said she was fine and healthy. There’s not been any health issues other than she’s had problems with her back but that has been long standing.
“We can’t imagine what has happened but it was sudden.
“Everyone is just in total shock that this can happen to someone her age. It is all the more tragic now she’s got Calum.
“Nobody had any inclination at all that she had anything wrong with her. We are all absolutely stunned.”
John Campbell, co-promoter at the Monarchs, said: “I’m very, very sad, she was well known at the track.
“She has grown up with us because she has been at the speedway all her living days.”
her father Charlie died several years ago, and the Monarchs set up the Charlie Balneaves’ Rider of the Year award in his memory.
Richard Hellewell, chief executive at the Royal Blind School charity, said: “It is with much sadness that we learned about the death of our former classroom assistant.
“We offer our sincere condolences to Diane’s family and friends. Our thoughts are with them at this time.”