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‘I’ll never see my mummy again and this destroys me’

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Murdered: Jayne Toal Reat

Murdered: Jayne Toal Reat

Murdered: Jayne Toal Reat

The heartbroken daughter of a woman murdered on Christmas Day 2017 has told how she will "never see my mummy again".

Speaking outside Craigavon Crown Court yesterday after the killer was jailed for a minimum of 17 years, Charlotte Reat (22) broke down in tears as she told of the impact of Nathan Ward's actions.

Ward (20) was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 17 years for the murder of Jayne Toal Reat, who was his father Joseph Tweedie's partner.

The judge also imposed 12 years for the attempted murder of Charlotte, five years for wounding his father, and five years for three counts of sexually assaulting Charlotte.

All the sentences are to run concurrently.

Ward will be subject to sexual offences notification requirements indefinitely.

Outside court supporters wearing T-shirts bearing pictures of Charlotte and her mum and bracelets inscribed with the words 'Justice for Jayne' stood nearby as Charlotte addressed reporters.

"I just want to thank the police for being there for me and my family," she said.

"I'm disappointed with the outcome because it'll never bring my mum back."

She then broke down in tears and was comforted by a loved one.

In a statement released through the PSNI later, Charlotte said the fact she will never see her beloved mum again "destroys" her.

"I can't say I am happy but I'm glad that Nathan has finally admitted to what he has done," she added. "This has been an extremely long and tough journey without my mum and it will only continue.

"The courts are finally over, however I will never see my mummy again and this destroys me. She was my best friend, my everything and I love her so much."

Speaking outside court yesterday, Detective Chief Inspector Peter McKenna said: "Jayne and her daughter Charlotte, who was only 21 at the time, should have been waking up to enjoy the special festive time that was Christmas," he said.

"Instead, they woke to the horror of Nathan Ward standing beside their bed armed with a knife.

"He stabbed defenceless Jayne multiple times before stabbing Charlotte and then attacking his own father who had come to their aid.

"Tragically, Jayne passed away from her injuries, dying in Charlotte's arms.

"No daughter should ever have to go through such a traumatic and heartbreaking ordeal."

DCI McKenna said Charlotte had been denied the "love, guidance and friendship of her mother", and Mr Tweedie had been "robbed" of his future with Jayne.

He added that Jayne's family had been "left extremely traumatised".

"Jayne was a psychiatric nurse, she dedicated her life to helping others, yet she was murdered in cold blood in her own home by Nathan Ward who she had welcomed to that home," he said.

"Nathan has robbed her of the joy of seeing her daughter Charlotte grow into a young woman and his callous actions have also denied Charlotte the love, guidance and friendship of her mother.

"I am in no doubt that Nathan Ward is a very dangerous man who has shown no remorse for his actions.

"In addition to these despicable crimes, he was sentenced today for a number of sexual offences carried out on Charlotte over a period of time.

"The community is a much safer place now that he is behind bars.

"I would like to pay tribute to Jayne's family, who have displayed great courage throughout this investigation.

"Whilst no sentence can ever take away their pain, I hope they get some comfort from knowing that Nathan Ward has been held fully accountable for his actions."

Belfast Telegraph