Terrified and trapped
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.
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.