TRIBUTES have been paid to a 23-year-old woman who took her own life after moving to the Lake District to escape her violent ex-boyfriend.

"Bubbly and gutsy" Sophie Eleanor Emmerson had been working and living at the Kings Arms Hotel in Hawkshead when she was found dead by her colleague Scott Morris on January 29 after failing to turn up for work.

The Sunderland woman, who moved to Cumbria last year, had been set to move in with her boyfriend, Joshua Robinson, with the pair busy decorating a rented property in Broughton in the days before her death, an inquest heard.

Speaking at an inquest into her death at Barrow Town Hall, Mr Robinson said: "She was just the nicest, craziest and bubbliest person I have ever met.

"I just knew from the moment I met her that I wanted to be with her. She was the best thing that ever happened to me.

"I messaged her that morning to tell her how much I loved her and that I was sorry we had been arguing, but it was just because we were knackered from decorating. We would stay up until 4 or 5am, sleep for a couple of hours and then go to work.

"I never thought she would do this in a million years. She was just so excited by everything all the time and you could not have a down day with her."

The inquest heard how the pair had briefly argued because of "tiredness and frustration", with Mr Robinson's car suffering a flat tyre, which stopped her getting to Broughton the night before.

Mr Morris said: "She was a very bubbly person and was really happy all the time. If she came into the room, whether you were having a bad day or not, it would be better because she would always make you laugh.

"She said she had been having a bad day so I offered for her to come for a drink. When I got home we were laughing and joking.

"I heard her arguing on the phone at 2am, but when I went to check on her she gave me a thumbs up and told me she was fine.

"I sent her a Snapchat to tell her I was here for her, but she never opened it.

"If I had any idea of what would happen I would have stayed with her."

Miss Emmerson's mother Allison Wardropper praised her daughter's "brave" decision to leave the North East.

She said: "We were best friends and I understand why she wanted to go to the Lake District. She wanted to put the past behind her but she could not go anywhere in Sunderland without him being there.

"She was quite gutsy and if she wanted to do something she would. It was very brave of her to move on her own to a place where she did not know anyone, but she could walk into a room of people and make friends.

"She has left a massive hole in my life."

Assistant coroner Paul O'Donnell concluded Miss Emmerson took her own life.

He said: "She had a very close relationship with her family so for her to move to Hawkshead was a very bold step for anyone, nevermind a woman of 23.

"There was nothing to give anyone concern that night and there was nothing that could have been done.

"She had an emotional fragility hidden behind an extremely bubbly and positive demeanour.

"Her and Joshua had a whirlwind romance and talked about moving in together and having children together and I am sure that relationship was helping her heal the scars from before."