Victim's family: ‘We cannot believe his life was taken in such a cruel way’

The family of the Englishman murdered in Bandon said his four children would have to grow up without their father and that people capable of such violent acts as that committed by Ciprian Grozavu should not be allowed their freedom.

Victim's family: ‘We cannot believe his life was taken in such a cruel way’

A victim-impact statement from the family of John Forrester was read to the court yesterday as Grozavu, aged 39, got the mandatory life sentence for murdering him.

“We will never come to terms with this,” the Forrester family said in the statement read at the Central Criminal Court after the jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict.

The family said Mr Forrester had come to Ireland following the break-up of his relationship, but they had learned shortly before his death, from a pastor who had befriended him in Bandon, that his life was back on track. He had hoped to move back to the UK and renew his relationship with his children.

“He was a happy-go-lucky person with a kind word for everyone. We cannot believe anyone would want to harm him. We cannot believe his life was taken in such a cruel way,” said barrister Siobhán Lankford, who read out the statement.

Members of the Forrester family were not present yesterday as they were back in the UK, but they had been present during most of the 10-day trial.

Outside the courthouse, Michelle Duke, mother of Jonathan Duke who was also murdered by Grozavu and his accomplice Catherine O’Connor, said that she was glad to be present to see justice done for the Forrester family.

Her son Jonathan was murdered because he found out that the duo had murdered Mr Forrester.

Ms Duke said yesterday: “I knew in my heart and soul he was a good lad, he would have wanted to go to the guards, that is why he was killed.

“It is devastating, absolutely horrible.

“It has hurt all our family and it never goes away. There is not a day goes by that I don’t think off him,” Ms Duke said, adding that justice was done but that she never expected to find closure.

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