THE wife of a Sheffield soldier who was strangled before being electrocuted on a railway line has opened her heart to talk about the tragedy for the first time - as she prepares to run the London Marathon in his memory.
Steven Fountain, who was born and brought up in Sheffield and joined the Army at 17, was on leave after a tour of duty in Iraq when he died after a row broke out among his group of friends on a night out.
The 24-year-old, who was serving with the 29 Commando Unit in Poole at the time, was electrocuted on a live railway line.
But a post-mortem examination revealed he had been strangled beforehand, and may already have been dead when he fell onto the tracks.
It has been 11 years since his death, but for his wife Janine, 40, the grief is still as raw today and she is training to complete the London Marathon in his memory.
The mum-of-one, a former frontline soldier herself, now works as a mortuary technician in Sheffield. She is running the 26-mile race to raise cash for the Army Widows Association.
Janine, who served in Afghanistan, Iraq and Northern Ireland, said the charity did not exist when she was first widowed but now provides invaluable emotional support and practical advice to women who have lost their military husbands through war, illness, accidents or suicide.
“Steven was serving in the military and was on rest and recuperation leave after a tour in Iraq when he went out one night out and was killed,” said Janine.
“At that time we were living in military accommodation, and I was given 90 days before I had to move out.
“Things have moved on since then, but at that time support for me was very limited. So when the Army Widows Association started it was a great support in terms of counselling and just being able to talk to someone who had been through something similar and understood.
“I support the charity now, knowing I can empathise with others. When people come to us for support I have been through every single emotion they have, and even 10 years later it still helps me knowing I am not alone.”
Janine had been training to complete the London Marathon with Steven when he died.
“It is going to be emotional because completing the marathon is something we had planned to do together, and we were training for it when he died, so it will be like going full circle,” she said.
“I have a half marathon to help prepare me this weekend. On the day I hope to run the race without stopping.”
To find out more about the Army Widows Association call Janine on 07810 606 135. Log on to www.justgiving.com/janinefountain to donate.