Final insult… Cut up and flushed down the loo
For years, I’d feared this brute was hurting my daughter, but what he did in the end was beyond my worst nightmares
Sitting in a bar in Ibiza, me and my three pals were having a right giggle on holiday.
It was June 2016, and although we were all in our 60s, we knew how to let our hair down.
We got chatting to a psychic and he took turns reading our palms. It was a laugh, him predicting romance and windfalls for my mates.
Only, when he got to me, his mood changed.
‘I can see prison bars,’ he frowned. ‘Someone is going to prison for a very long time.’ We all fell silent. I knew instantly who that someone might be... ‘Dean,’ I muttered. Finishing up our drinks, we headed back to the hotel.
But for the rest of the holiday, I couldn’t stop thinking about my youngest daughter, Kirby, 31, and her boyfriend, Dean, 31.
I hadn’t seen Kirby in more than seven years.
Not since Dean had made her cut off contact.
Now, she didn’t speak to me or our family.
It hadn’t started out like that. Dean and Kirby had been childhood sweethearts.
But he’d become controlling, violent even.
Spotting bruises on her arms and legs, we’d begged Kirby to leave him. ‘Please, love,’ I urged. ‘But I love him, Mum,’ she sighed.
I prayed she’d come to her senses, but it was like Dean had cast a spell on her.
I tried everything to convince her, again and again, but my pleas fell on deaf ears. It broke my heart... Kirby split with Dean for a while, met someone else.
In February 2007, she had a little boy, Jack.
But when Jack was 18 months old she and Dean got back together.
Not long after, I noticed bruises on Jack’s back, and called in social services.
And in October 2008, Jack, 2, came to live with me. Away from Dean.
Kirby was furious and I didn’t blame her.
She was a victim, too, and now I’d taken her son away.
But I’d been left with no choice. I hadn’t been able to save my daughter, but I was determined Jack would be safe.
Afterwards, Dean monitored Kirby’s calls and closed her Facebook account.
They went to live hundreds of miles away in Cornwall.
She was isolated, alone and vulnerable, and I worried about her every day.
And now, the psychic’s words whirled around my mind.
Was Dean really destined for jail? And if so, for what crime?
But arriving home a few days later, my thoughts turned back to caring for Jack, by then 10.
Only, in May 2017, I had a Facebook message from Dean’s cousin Rebecca, 30. Have you heard from Kirby? I gulped. No, I typed back. A terrible feeling churned in the pit of my stomach as I waited for Rebecca’s reply.
And when it came, I wished it hadn’t. We think Dean may have hurt her. Police are at the flat now.
Distraught, I begged my hubby Robert, 52, to drive me straight there.
But after speaking to the
Was Dean destined for jail? And if so, for what crime?
police, our family liaison officer urged us to wait.
Early the next day, an officer came over.
‘We found a lot of blood at Kirby’s flat,’ she explained.
‘That brute’s killed her,’ I said, weeping.
The officer took DNA swabs from me and went upstairs to do the same with Jack.
‘Is this about Mum?’ Jack, 11, asked later, confused. ‘We don’t know yet,’ I fibbed. Dean was arrested and police gathered evidence in the home he’d shared with Kirby.
Blood on the floors, splattered on the ceiling, teeth on the bedroom carpet.
DNA results confirmed it all belonged to Kirby.
Explaining to Jack that his mum had been murdered was the hardest thing I’d ever had to do.
‘I knew he’d hurt her,’ he wept, thumping his fist against the wall. As a family, we were broken. I travelled to Cornwall, stood in the garden of the house Kirby had lived and died in.
I sobbed as I came to a conclusion. I wanted to die, be reunited with Kirby.
But then Jack’s face flashed before my eyes.
Somehow, I had to keep going for his sake.
In May 2018, Dean Lowe, 33, appeared at Exeter Crown Court, where he denied murder.
I went every day, willing justice to be done.
I listened in horror as the grim details of Kirby’s death were revealed.
Lowe had hit Kirby with a large rock, the force of the assault smashing it into pieces.
He’d then beaten her with a metal pole.
Experts couldn’t say how long it took my poor girl to die.
I prayed she’d gone with the first savage blow, that she hadn’t suffered.
Though Lowe had killed her in January, nobody knew for four months.
And even then, police had divers out for days searching the sea near their home, hoping to find Kirby’s body.
But the brute had chopped up her body, stuffing her remains into a wheelie bin and flushing the rest down the toilet.
Hearing the details was agony. Even the jurors cried. Desperate to protect Jack, I banned him from watching TV or looking at the papers during the trial.
But the details of Kirby’s gruesome death were everywhere.
Some reports about Kirby’s murder had been exaggerated, too. One claimed Dean had used Kirby’s teeth to make a necklace, but officers told me that simply wasn’t true.
In the end, the jury found Lowe guilty.
He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 28 years.
That psychic in Ibiza had been right all along.
Dean was behind bars for the worst possible reason.
But as far as I’m concerned, 100 years wouldn’t be long enough. Dean is evil through and through.
Now, all that’s left of my beautiful girl is a silver box of beaded jewellery that I keep on my mantelpiece.
And a huge canvas of her smiling, which I’ve hung in the living room. She looks so happy. But I’ll never feel that sort of happiness again.
Kirby’s death has changed my view of humanity. I have no faith in anyone any more.
In our garden, we have a little shrine, with statues, lights and flowers, that I tend to daily, just to be near her.
They say you never really get over losing a child.
But to lose my daughter in such a horrible, brutal way is something that will haunt me daily for the rest of my life.
Hearing the details was agony. Even the jury cried
The psychic had a message...
Keeping the memory alive