An­niver­saries take you back...the things you try to keep out of your head are harder to keep out of your head

Mum opens her heart 10 years af­ter daugh­ter Moira’s mur­der

The Sunday Post (Inverness) - - NEWS - By Ju­dith Duffy MAIL@SUNDAYPOST.COM

The run is in the park where Moira was killed, but also the park which she loved and looked out at from her flat ev­ery day

– Bea Jones on daugh­ter’s death

The mother of mur­der vic­tim Moira Jones has told how the 10th an­niver­sary of her daugh­ter’s death has sharp­ened her fam­ily’s grief. Busi­ness­woman Moira, 40, was raped and mur­dered in May 2008 af­ter be­ing dragged into Queen’s Park, in Glas­gow, yards from her home.

Her mum Bea Jones ad­mits it has been a “very hard” year cop­ing with the 10th an­niver­sary of Moira’s death.

She said one pos­i­tive had been the Scot­tish Govern­ment an­nounc­ing in April the set­ting up of a homi­cide ser­vice to sup­port fam­i­lies of mur­der vic­tims, which the fam­ily had cam­paigned for.

But she added: “What should have been Moira’s 50th birth­day hap­pened that month and then there was the an­niver­sary.

“It takes you back... the bits that we try to keep out of our heads are much harder to keep out of our heads.

“I don’t know whether re­trau­ma­ti­sa­tion is the right word, but I guess it is. If you are re­liv­ing the emo­tions that you lived at the time, it is very hard; not that you are ever free of them.”

She added: “An­niver­saries are oc­ca­sions for cel­e­bra­tion, but the an­niver­sary of a death can’t be. “I knew at the be­gin­ning of the year it was go­ing to be dif­fi­cult, as peo­ple were al­ready ask­ing about it and what we would do to mark it. “We did noth­ing to mark it – we just wanted to be by our­selves.”

In the wake of Moira’s death, her fam­ily set up a char­ity which helps those be­reaved by the mur­der of a loved one.

Since 2014, it has held an an­nual 5k fun run to cel­e­brate her life, which will take place in Queen’s Park on Oc­to­ber 28.

Bea said: “Ev­ery­thing re­ported about us or The Moira Fund means more aware­ness of the fund, which is pos­i­tive – but it doesn’t make it easy.”

Marek Har­car was jailed for life in 2009 for the rape and mur­der of Moira and or­dered to serve a min­i­mum of 25 years.

Ear­lier this year it emerged he had been re­turned to his na­tive Slo­vakia af­ter an agree­ment was reached be­tween au­thor­i­ties.

Bea, who lives in Stafford and will par­tic­i­pate in the run along with her hus­band Hu, said the an­nual run was a “com­fort” to them and en­cour­aged peo­ple to take part.

She said: “It is very hard to say what the run means to us, as it means a huge amount – it is the warmth of it and I find it very emo­tional.

“It is in the park where Moira was killed, but also the park which she loved and looked out at from her flat ev­ery day.

“As far as we are con­cerned it is in ex­actly the right place, and the fact that so many peo­ple from the lo­cal com­mu­nity come and give us their sup­port means a lot.”

Bea re­vealed that the char­ity set up in her daugh­ter’s name has now helped nearly 1,000 fam­i­lies be­reaved by mur­der or man­slaugh­ter.

It pro­vides grants to in­di­vid­u­als who are re­ferred by po­lice or vic­tim sup­port agen­cies and also helps be­reave­ment char­i­ties which pro­vide ser­vices such as re­treats or work­shops with fund­ing.

Bea said: “We have helped more than 950 fam­i­lies – if you mul­ti­ply that by the av­er­age num­ber in a fam­ily then that is thou­sands of in­di­vid­u­als.

“It is fam­i­lies from In­ver­ness to Ex­eter to Corn­wall and ev­ery part of Eng­land, Scot­land and Wales. We are very proud of that.

“We just had a thank you let­ter from a grandma whose daugh­ter was mur­dered, so the gran is look­ing af­ter her grand­daugh­ter and ac­com­mo­dat­ing her.

“We gave a grant so she could buy her a new bed and bed­ding – that is just one ex­am­ple.”

She added: “Peo­ple go into debt try­ing to get a de­posit for a fu­neral, never mind pay for the whole thing.

“You would be sur­prised at how lit­tle is avail­able to peo­ple through of­fi­cial sources.”

Bea Jones, pho­tographed in Glas­gow, is look­ing for­ward to the run in her daugh­ter’s mem­ory this month

Moira was just 40 when she died

Po­lice stand guard at Queen’s Park gates af­ter the 2008 tragedy

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