Julia Swindells

A former Cambridge city councillor has paid tribute to his university lecturer wife, whose body was found in the River Cam on Sunday.

Dr Julia Swindells, a former fellow of Homerton and a lecturer in English at Anglia Ruskin University before she resigned from her post in September, had been suffering from extreme depression and paranoia.

She went missing from the family home in Riverside, Cambridge, on Saturday 29th October and her body was found in the River Cam near her home eight days later.

Cambridgeshire Police have said that the 60-year-old’s death is not being treated as suspicious.

Ben Bradnack, husband of the late Dr Swindells, praised his wife for her musical and literary talent. She was known for her talent as a pianist and a published poet.

He said: “Julia was a reluctant academic star with a strong political commitment to women, and to those ‘on the other side of silence’ whose voices she worked so hard to hear and represent.

“For her the Cambridge Labour Party was the nearest approximation she could find to a church in which she could believe.

“She loved and cherished colleagues and students with whom she worked in the English department at Anglia Ruskin University.

“But she dreamed of writing poetry and walking the hills close to her father in Yorkshire.

“She was a wonderful, indulgent and much loved mother and wife."

A spokesman from Anglia Ruskin University has also praised Dr Swindells’ skill as an inspirational teacher and widely-respected researcher, while the Cambridge Labour Party paid tribute to her passionate activism.

Leader of the Labour group at Cambridge City Council, Cllr Lewis Herbert said: “Cambridge Labour Party was a major part of Julia’s extended family and we will all miss her terribly.”

Mr Bradnack is planning a celebration of Dr Swindell’s life and anyone who would like to contribute can email him at benbradnack@gmail.com