JOSIE TELLS OF HAP­PI­NESS

Artist who sur­vived hor­rific at­tack tells of set­tled-down de­lights in TV in­ter­view:

Caernarfon Herald - - FRONT PAGE - Ly­dia Mor­ris

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

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