Here, Alison, tells the story in her own words.
S￼tanding on a stool to reach the kitchen bench, I stirred the biscuit mix.
Aged four, I loved baking with my mum Sandra. Spotting flour all over my face, Mum giggled.
‘You’re supposed to keep it in the bowl, sweetheart,’ she laughed.
When I grew up and had a little boy of my own, Scott, Mum doted on him too.
‘There’s my favourite boy!’ she’d say, as his podgy arms reached out for a cuddle.
We’d see her and my dad, Allan, every weekend and Mum and I chatted every day.
When I married Arthur, Mum looked so proud in her powder-blue dress.
Sadly, that same year Dad passed away from a heart attack. Mum was devastated, but she moved a 20-minute drive away from us and our bond became even tighter.
‘Fancy coming round for lunch tomorrow?’ I asked her one day. ‘That would be lovely,’ Mum replied.
We chatted for a few more minutes before we hung up and I went to bed.
The next morning, my older sister Susan phoned. She’d been trying to reach Mum, but she couldn’t get through. ‘Have you spoken to her?’ she asked.‘No,’ I frowned.
Immediately I tried calling, but kept getting her voicemail. She must be on her way over, I thought. But when there was no sign of her after half an hour, I rang my son Scott, 23.
‘Pop around to Nana’s and check if her car is in the driveway,’ I said.
Minutes later, my mobile phone buzzed.Answering, I heard a strange noise.
Then I realised it was Scott hysterically crying.
‘Come quick, Mum,’ he choked through tears. ‘Nana’s been murdered.’
After spotting Mum’s car, he’d squeezed in through an open window, worried that she’d fallen.
Instead, he came across the most horrific bloody scene.
In a daze, Arthur drove me to Mum’s. ‘What’s going on?’ I sobbed to Scott.
Mum’s place was swarming with police and paramedics, and it was cordoned off.
When the officers wouldn’t tell me anything, I tried to barge past them into the house, but I was dragged back by Scott.
‘Mum, stay here,’ he pleaded. Then an officer came to speak to me. ‘I’m so sorry,’ he said. ‘There’s nothing we can do.’
My sweet mum was dead. I howled in anguish.‘Who would hurt my caring mother?’ I shrieked. She was 74, a pensioner. And everyone loved her.
Looking from Arthur to Scott, they stayed silent. They’re protecting me from something, I thought.
That day, we gave a statement to police.‘Did your mum have any enemies?’ the officer asked.
Dumbstruck, I shook my head. Over the next couple of weeks, grief overwhelmed me. Then an officer called. ‘We’ve found the person responsible,’ he said. He explained they’d found fingerprints on stolen goods that had been left at Mum’s by the murderer.
They’d arrested an 18-year-old girl, Sheree Prince. ‘She’s just a teenager,’ I gasped.
Time went on and still I was kept in the dark about the details surrounding Mum’s death. Then we met with the prosecutor in the case.
They explained that on the night of the murder, Prince had climbed through an open window into Mum’s place. Mum woke up and threatened to call the police. But Prince begged for help, showing Mum her foot, which she’d burnt earlier that evening.
My caring mum had then given her antiseptic mixed with water to wash the wound, and made her toast and a cup of tea. But after Mum said she was calling for an ambulance, Prince flipped, grabbing a knife. Then she stabbed Mum 24 times, before chopping off her head with a knife and hacking off her arms with an axe. I felt sick. She would have been defenceless and so terrified.
Afterwards, that monster placed Mum’s body in a bin and her limbs into a plastic container, before fleeing.
Taking it all in, my shock and heartbreak turned to anger. This stranger had taken away such a kind soul. And worst of all, Scott
had found her.
‘I keep having nightmares of Nana,’ he sobbed to me. He needed counselling.
In March, Sheree Prince, 22, appeared in court and pleaded guilty to murder.
She’d written a letter. I would like the family to please forgive me and accept my apology as time goes by, it said. It disgusted me.
Mum died the way she lived her life – helping people. ‘I’ll never forgive her,’ I seethed to Arthur.
She was jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 25 years. If she’s ever up for parole, I’ll be in court fighting for her to stay where she belongs.
After the sentencing, I bought a bottle of champagne and we drank a glass to Mum. I don’t think my pain will ever go away, but I’m determined to focus on Mum’s kind and caring nature.
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