THE FAMILY of a young mother left mutilated and dying in the street spoke today of how they are living in a "nightmare".

Geeta Aulakh was found with fatal head injuries by passers-by in Braund Avenue, Greenford. One of her hands had been cut off.

The 28-year-old, who worked as a receptionist for Sunrise Radio in Southall, was attacked with a weapon last Monday as she walked to pick up her two sons from their childminder. Police believe her right hand was severed as she tried to defend herself.

Family members are appealing for witnesses to come forward, especially anyone who helped her as she lay dying but left before paramedics arrived.

Her sister, Anita Shinh, of Southall, said they are struggling to come to terms with the brutal murder.

She said: "It feels like we are living in a nightmare and we expect to wake up every day. It's like something you see on TV. You can't believe it's happened to your family, to your mother, your sister, your brother.

"My younger brother is still in shock. We do not know what to do with ourselves, we can't eat or sleep. Our only thought now is the children. We just want to be strong for them."

Miss Shinh was joined by her father Lakhwinder Singh Shinh and mother Nardesh Kumari Shinh for the appeal.

Anita Shinh said her sister's sons, Tejdeep, eight, and Karam, 10, cannot understand why their mother will not come home.

She said: "Listening to them ask for their mummy breaks our hearts and finding the words to tell them that their mother is no more - words cannot describe it.

"When one of Geeta's boys asked where his mummy is, I told him she is the brightest star in the sky now." "We are just distraught. They have lost their mummy.

"One said 'is she going to come one final time to say goodbye?' I just do not think they believe it, they expect her to come through the door. They are just too young to understand."

Family members have said Miss Aulakh had been threatened in the months before the attack, at about 7pm on November 16.

Asked about the trouble, Miss Shinh said her sister did not speak about it.

She said: "All she used to say was ‘Do not worry’. She used to laugh it off with a smile. She never spoke to anyone about her problem. She didn’t want us to worry.

"She was just such a good-natured person. She didn’t want her mother and father and sister to worry We just wish she had come to us and given us a little indication."

Miss Shinh added that her sister was in a "unhappy marriage" and had separated from her husband of 11 years one year ago and began divorce proceedings recently.

She said: "She was looking forward to getting on with her life. She was happy, really looking forward to getting on with her life and her two children and us. God knows where life would have taken her with her children."

18-year-old Sher Singh, of Wren Avenue, Southall appeared at Ealing Magistrates' Court yesterday charged with murder. He will be tried at the Old Bailey on March 1.

A further 11 men have been arrested, including the victim's husband. They have been bailed to return to a police station in mid-January.