JOSIE TELLS OF HAPPINESS
Artist who survived horrific attack tells of settled-down delights in TV interview:
AN artist who survived a horrific hammer attack that killed her mother and young sister has spoken of her “happiness” 22 years on from their brutal murder.
Josie Russell, 31, who was brought up at Talysarn, near Penygroes, was nine when Michael Stone attacked the three as they walked along a country lane in Kent where they had moved to live.
Her mother, Lin, 45, and six-yearold sister Megan died in the attack, alongside their pet dog, in 1996.
Josie was presumed dead following the catastrophic attack, which shocked the world.
But paramedics found a pulse and she was rushed to hospital where she began a long but remarkable period of rehabilitation, managing to speak again after a year.
After months of hospital treatment, her father, Shaun, an university professor, brought her back to Gwynedd where she met her fiancé Iwan Griffith in a Caernarfon pub in 2005.
She resumed her schooling at Ysgol Dyffryn Nantlle and later studied at Coleg Menai and Bangor University.
Now she has spoken of her happiness after settling down in her cherished childhood home in Snowdonia – which she bought in 2010 with her fiancé, who did not know about the murders when they met.
Speaking to Lorraine on ITV, she said: “I feel like I’ve always lived in that house.
“We’re just making it how we wanted it to be now, a little bit more updated, because it’s a very old house.
“Yeah definitely, happy times, I remember playing in the garden and things like that.”
On telling partner Iwan about her past, she said: “I don’t really remember. We didn’t talk about anything, we just carry on with life, go on and do normal teenage stuff, I think.”
Josie confessed that she’s just happy being engaged for the time being and has no immediate plans to get married. She also admitted that she would possibly like to have children one day, once work on the house is finished and they have more time to themselves.
Josie said: “I’ve just got to get on with life and just carry on. I love my job, it’s all fine. Happy.”
● Josie Russell speaking on TV