Terrified and trapped

Chat - - True Life -

As our fam­ily gath­ered in grief, we learned the aw­ful truth.

Terrified, and trapped in the school, Emma had asked a friend to walk them home.

Only, on their way back, Mark jumped out of an al­ley and con­fronted Emma. He was drunk. He begged her not to make him pay child sup­port, claimed he was in debt and that the pay­ments would make him home­less.

Emma’s friend could see Mark was be­com­ing ag­i­tated.

Wor­ried, she told my niece, then 6, to walk the three min­utes home with her older brother, 13.

For 20 min­utes, Mark kept de­mand­ing Emma drop her pay­ment de­mands. She re­fused. Even­tu­ally, she’d told Mark there was noth­ing more to say, and she needed to get back to make the kids’ din­ner.

Only, as she walked away, Mark pulled out a large kitchen knife.

Then he stabbed her in the back.

Emma’s friend tried to stop him, but he was in a frenzy, re­peat­edly stab­bing my sis­ter.

As her friend di­alled 999, Mark fled.

And Emma, 33, died in the street, just me­tres from home.

Nearby, police found Mark’s ruck­sack con­tain­ing let­ters from the Child Main­te­nance Ser­vice and the mur­der weapon.

Hor­rific.

We couldn’t make sense of it. Telling my niece and nephew was so hard, see­ing them both burst­ing into tears.

The next day, Mark was ar­rested and charged.

Last De­cem­ber, Mark Mor­ris, 39, ap­peared at The Old Bai­ley.

He pleaded guilty to mur­der and pos­ses­sion of a knife.

He was jailed for life, with a min­i­mum of 21 years in jail.

In court, the pros­e­cu­tion lawyer went over the day’s hor­ri­fy­ing events.

‘What are you do­ing?’ Emma had said as Mark had plunged the knife into her back. Her dev­as­tat­ing last words. We’re still try­ing to pick up the pieces.

It breaks my heart watch­ing my niece and nephew grow­ing up with­out their beloved Mum. My niece cries ev­ery day. ‘My heart is empty,’ she says. And I see Emma’s son try­ing so hard to be strong.

It’s still hard to be­lieve I’ve lost my sis­ter – all for £27 a week.

Our lives will never be the same.

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