The grief-stricken dad of murdered schoolgirl Paige Doherty has "died of a broken heart" after struggling with his daughter’s tragic death.
Jon Bothwell "was never the same" after 15-year-old Paige was killed, his mum says, and friends have told how he battled depression after losing her.
Roseanne Bothwell said her 37-year-old son, a boxer who struggled with nightmares after the murder, died at home but paramedics "brought him back".
He was rushed to hospital, where he was in a coma before dying on Saturday, the Daily Record reports.
Jon’s 71-year-old mum said: “He was heartbroken. Paige loved Jon out her mind too. He never got over it. He died of a broken heart. He was never the same after she died.
“He said he used to have nightmares where he’d see her at the bottom of his bed and she wanted him to go with her. We’ll never get over Paige’s death and Jon took it the worst. He died in the bedroom but they brought him back.
“The paramedics then took him to hospital. He was in a coma. He died there on Saturday.”
Jon’s friends told how he believed his life was not worth living after Paige was murdered by vicious John Leathem in March 2016.
Jon, who had split up with Paige’s mum Pamela, had battled depression after being unable to reconcile how he was unable to protect his daughter, who was just 15 and only 4ft 8in tall.
Friends claim the brutal violence inflicted on petite Paige haunted him in the two years since her death.
Jon’s body was found at his flat in Cambuslang, near Glasgow, on Saturday night. He was taken by ambulance to Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride, where he died.
One friend said: “Her dad was in and out of her life but he still loved her the way any dad would. He was a successful boxer and well known in Glasgow and beyond but he had his troubles with alcohol and the death of Paige was a hammer blow.
“Jon was in the hospital just last week and people close to him were very concerned about his wellbeing.
“He couldn’t get over the fact that he couldn’t save Paige. He lost his life the day she died.”
The friend said that Jon felt he had been isolated from his little girl at the time of her funeral, which was arranged by her mum Pamela and her husband, Paige’s step-dad Andy Munro.
The pal said: “Paige was registered as Paige Bothwell when she was born and her name-changing had an effect on her dad."
The friend said that Jon wasn’t given a prominent role at Paige’s funeral and felt that Paige’s step-dad "was at the centre of events", and that "crushed" him.
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The friend added: "Jon was a decent guy and a good boxer but after everything that happened in his life he turned to drink.”
Jon split up with Pamela when Paige was two and the parting was bitter. It was revealed that Paige had a close relationship with her step-dad Andy.
In 2014, she posted on Facebook: “Happy Father’s Day dad. To the best guy out. Even though we argue 24/7, you’re always there for me and always will be and I have your back too.
“You’ve been with us since I was about four and it’s honestly been the best thing that’s ever happened to me. And mum loves you to pieces and is so happy. Love you lots and lots, have a great day. xxxx”
Jon never spoke in public about his daughter’s death but the ferocity of the violence was hard to bear.
Leathem stabbed Paige 61 times and inflicted more than 140 injuries after she stopped for a breakfast roll at his Delicious Deli in Clydebank on March 19, 2016, when she was on her way to work at a hair salon.
The murderer had locked Paige in his deli while he carried out the savage attack then tried to clean up and act as though nothing had happened.
He was caught on CCTV entering and leaving the shop after Paige walked in one Saturday morning, never to be seen again.
The crime shocked Scotland and brought a huge outpouring of grief from the community in Clydebank, where she was well known and loved.
Hundreds formed a cortege, led by white horses, at Paige’s funeral.
Leathem pled guilty to her murder but later had his jail term reduced from 27 years to 23 after an appeal.
In July last year, Pamela gave birth to a girl and named her Penny Margaret Paige after the tragic 15-year-old.
Last night, police said: “Around 6.30pm on Saturday August 25, 2018, police were called to a report of a 37-year-old man having taken unwell within an address in Main Street, Cambuslang.
“Emergency services attended and the man was taken by ambulance to Hairmyres Hospital where he later died.
“A post mortem examination will take place in due course to establish the exact cause of death, however there do not appear to be suspicious circumstances.
“A report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.”
Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at [email protected]
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