Dissident republicans convicted of murdering a policeman in the North robbed his widow of her soulmate, a court heard today.
Constable Stephen Carroll was shot dead by the Continuity IRA in Craigavon, Co Armagh, in March 2009.
Earlier this year, Brendan McConville (aged 41) and John Paul Wootton (aged 21) were found guilty of murdering the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officer and will later today learn the minimum number of years they must serve.
Kate Carroll sat in the public gallery at Belfast Crown Court as final legal arguments were heard by Lord Justice Paul Girvan.
A victim impact statement from Mrs Carroll read to the court said: "I feel that I have not only had my soulmate, best friend and future taken away from me, but I did not even get a chance to say goodbye properly.
"Stephen was my life and religion and losing him was heartbreaking, gut-wrenching."
Pc Carroll, 48, from Banbridge, Co Down, was the first policeman killed by republican terrorists since the peace process reforms which saw the Royal Ulster Constabulary replaced by the PSNI.
Lawyers for McConville, of Aldervale, Tullygally in Craigavon, and Wootton, of Collingdale, Lurgan, County Armagh, presented mitigating factors to the judge.