TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular young mum from Christchurch who was found dead earlier this month.

Sarah O’Neill, 22, suffered fatal head injuries at her home in Speedwell, Bristol on January 8.

Sergio Saavedra-Navarrete, who is believed to have been her boyfriend, has been charged with murder.

The 27-year-old has not yet entered a plea to the allegation.

Miss O’Neill lived in a flat in Rose Green Close in the city after moving from Dorset.

She attended Highcliffe School and Brockenhurst College before relocating to Bristol around two years ago.

The head of Highcliffe, Judith Potts, said on behalf of the school: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Sarah, one of our ex-students. “All at Highcliffe School extend their sincere condolences to her family and friends at this distressing time.”

Music-lover Miss O’Neill was the mother of a young son, who is believed to be around eight months old.

After she was found dead at her home, police confirmed a man had been arrested and said her death was being treated as “unexplained”.

The following day – January 9 – neighbours from the cul-de-sac spoke of their shock and sadness, with one describing Miss O’Neill as “a lovely girl – very friendly”, and adding: “She was always very polite and helpful in the neighbourhood.”

On January 10, police were given more time to question the man in their custody, and the next day officers announced that Saavedra-Navarrete had been charged with murder.

He appeared before magistrates in Bristol that morning, and will appear for a preliminary hearing at the crown court today.

Scenes of crime officers have carried out extensive investigations inside the flat and in the surrounding area.

However, anyone with information can still call Avon and Somerset Police on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.