‘she made the world a bet­ter place with ev­ery­thing she said and did...’

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS -

THE par­ents of Ellen Hig­gin­bot­tom lived through an or­deal that no fam­ily should have to ex­pe­ri­ence.

Ellen’s dev­as­tated dad Mike, a busi­ness­man, and school­teacher mum Kay, had be­lieved their daugh­ter would re­turn safely af­ter she went out for a walk be­fore meet­ing friends.

But in­stead they were forced to en­dure an ag­o­nis­ing wait while po­lice searched for their miss­ing daugh­ter – only to be told the worst pos­si­ble news.

The Hig­gin­bot­toms were not in court to hear the sen­tenc­ing.

But in a state­ment re­leased af­ter the case, dad Mike paid an emo­tional trib­ute to his daugh­ter.

He said: “There can never be any­thing even re­motely ap­proach­ing jus­tice for what was done to Ellen, but what can be done has been done and both Kay and I want to say a heart­felt thank you to ev­ery­one who has been in­volved in bring­ing about to­day’s achieve­ment.

“We were tremen­dously lucky to have shared 18 years with her and ev­ery­one else who knew her will iden­tify with that feel­ing. She made the world a bet­ter place with pretty much ev­ery­thing she said and ev­ery­thing she did.

“We all would have liked more though, and we would es­pe­cially have liked for her to have had more. For her to have seen the re­sults of all her hard work, for her to have seen her friends fly the nest as they went to uni, for her to have ex­plored the world that she was just grow­ing into.

“To have all that taken away from her in such a point­less and id­i­otic fash­ion fills us with an anger and re­sent­ment that does not rep­re­sent who we want to be. But we wres­tle it un­der con­trol and learn to be bet­ter at be­ing peo­ple. Be­cause that’s what adults do.

“So if there’s any­one else out there think­ing of do­ing any­thing even half this stupid, just take one piece of ad­vice: Grow up.”

Ear­lier, the court also heard a vic­tim im­pact state­ment from Ellen’s boyfriend, Ryan War­ren, who spoke of his dev­as­ta­tion over the bru­tal at­tack.

Ellen with boyfriend Ryan War­ren

A fam­ily photo of Ellen

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