The son of a tenant murdered by his landlord in Glastonbury earlier this year has talked of how the incident prevented him from meeting his estranged father.
Dawn Lewis, 54, fatally stabbed her 61-year-old lodger Glenn Richards at her home on 18 April.
Yesterday (Thursday 1 December) she was found guilty of his murder and today received a life sentence at Bristol Crown Court.
One of Mr Richards’ sons, Jamie, provided a victim personal statement as part of the sentencing hearing. He explained the lies Lewis told had had a significant impact.
Jamie had not seen his father for around 20 years following Mr Richards being convicted of the manslaughter of Jamie’s mother. Earlier this year he and his brother were due to meet their father as part of the restorative justice process. However, they never did.
Jamie said: “I have learned during my time spent at the trial that Glenn had in fact changed to some degree.
“He was a very ill man when he killed my dear Mum, although this of course will never excuse what he did.
“I have found out through this court trial that Glenn had worked on himself to get better while in prison and continued the path to recovery upon his release. Hearing this left me feeling a mixture of emotions which I am still processing today.
“The opportunity to tell him what effect his actions had on me growing up has been taken from me by Dawn Lewis and I don’t think I’ll ever know how to actually come to terms with this. It is true what they say, time’s a healer. However that being said, the pain only numbs, it never heals.
“If I met Glenn as planned I feel I could have walked away satisfied that I had done what I wanted to achieve and gain some kind of closure.”
Jamie added: “I have my Mum’s heart and therefore I ultimately believe no-one, not even Glenn, deserves to have their life taken from them.”
Judge William Hart said Lewis would serve a minimum of 20 years.
Detective Inspector Neil Meade, the senior investigating officer, welcomed the life sentence.
He added: “Jamie’s powerful account is a testimony to how devastating Dawn Lewis’ actions have been.
“I’d like to take the opportunity to publicly thank all of Mr Richards’ family for their support and recognise the courage they have shown.
“They were put through the pain of a trial by Lewis’ failure to own up about what she did. She had the chance to make their lives easier and cause them less pain, yet chose to concoct a false story about acting in self-defence, which the jury saw through.”