Father’s tribute to ‘gifted’ daughter

Luciana Rochford
Luciana Rochford

A GRIEF-STRICKEN father has spoken of his ‘kind and gentle’ daughter after her body was discovered at the bottom of cliffs.

Luciana Rochford, 31, was found on the beach near Beachy Head in neighbouring Eastbourne on February 27.

Her father, Peter, of St Andrews Square, said she leapt to her death from the top of the cliffs.

Paying tribute to her, Mr Rochford said: “Luciana was too good a person for this world. She was the most gentle, kind person you could meet.

“In the last two years she came to me as she was in great crisis.

“She resumed her yoga and began to be happy again. Luciana loved Hastings, the Old Town, and Kings Road in particular.”

Mr Rochford said his daughter’s life started off well, gaining top grades at Wadhurst School and being offered a place at Glyndebourne Opera House to train as a singer.

But her life went downhill in the last couple of years. In December she was at Priority House in Maidstone, Kent, a unit for those suffered from mental health problems, after trying to take her own life.

Mr Rochford added: “Luciana was very beautiful, academically brilliant and artistically gifted, but the quality I admired most in her was her bravery.

“She was never directed by fear as most people are.

“The last time I saw Luciana, excluding my visits to Priority House, was when she came to see me one evening last October to say hello.

“We climbed the scaffold at the back of the house to the top and watched the day end together.

“She had lost a lot of weight and her beauty that night was more ethereal.

“We chatted and laughed but the old warm feeling of father daughter blood on blood was somehow attenuated.

“It is only looking back now that I realise that she was there much more in spirit than in flesh.

“I hope she makes it to come and say hello again sometime. I know she won’t come in the flesh, but I will know her when I feel her wonderful spirit.”

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “The body of woman found near Belle Tout was recovered by Newhaven Lifeboat at 1.10pm on February 27 and taken to Birling Gap.

“It was identified as that 31-year-old Luciana Rochford, of Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

“Police are not treating the death as suspicious. The coroner’s officer has been informed.”