A long three and a half years since a vicious attack by her partner left Belfast woman Joleen Corr with permanent brain damage which eventually ended her life, a sense of relief washed over her mother on Thursday.
Michael O'Connor (34) will spend at least 16 years in jail for the murder of the 27-year-old beauty therapist, who had her life support switched off on April 26, 2018.
For mum Carol Corr the focus going forward in her life will be on her family, as it has been since the attack in Joleen's Downpatrick home, and on caring for the son her daughter left behind.
While the nightmare of losing a daughter, the eldest of five children in a close knit family, will never end, Carol can now at least take some comfort in the fact that her daughter's killer has been brought to justice.
On Thursday morning Carol sat with her family to watch the sentencing by videolink. More of the family waited outside in the car park, knowing they had already all been dealt a life sentence of their own.
And after listening through the harrowing details for more than a hour, she and her family breathed a sign of relief when it all came to an end.
"I was shaking from head to toe," Carol said afterwards. "Seeing him there again, knowing what he had done, how he had told lies from the start."
While admitting she was happy with the sentence imposed, Carol said it was a day of mixed emotions for her and her family.
"We were happy with the sentence, happy it was all over. But there's nothing that will bring our Joleen back to us now. That's what we live with. That's our life sentence.
"I still think about Joleen every day, how her life was ended at the hands of a devil.
"We've had ups and downs all through this. There had been heartache after heartache but when he changed his plea to guilty, meaning we wouldn't have to sit through a trial, was the relief we had been looking for."
A jury had been sworn in for the trial, but at the last minute O'Connor changed his plea and admitted his guilt on February 3 this year.
"He had lied his way through everything," said Carol at the time.
"We knew something was happening when the barrister had called us in. I sat facing him and he just told us: 'It's good news, he's pleading guilty'. I hugged him. I hugged everybody."Five months on from that guilty plea Carol is still without her Joleen, as she always will be now, but she still finds reasons to be thankful.
"We do have closure now, we do have justice and we have to be thankful for that," she said.
"This part of our lives has come to the end now and while it's not going to take away the pain, this road has ended.
"We've come to a new path now and we can live on for Joleen.
"I just wish she was here with us, but unfortunately she isn't.
"She'll come along this new road with us in our hearts."
Carol said the memory of the night her daughter was attacked will always be with her.
"I look back to that December day and still see it like it was yesterday," she recalled.
"The memory of not being able to recognise my own daughter as she lay in her hospital bed will never go away.
"I couldn't believe it when I first saw her in hospital, surrounded by beeping machines and tubes.
"She had 52 separate injuries from the top of her head to the tips of her toes.
"She had a fractured jaw and a serious head injury with swelling to the brain. Surgeons operated to release the pressure. We kept a vigil at her bedside, willing her to wake up, but scans showed that the left side of her brain was completely dead."
Joleen was kept alive for the next 17 months.
During that time she was transferred to Musgrave Park Hospital for rehabilitation, but repeated scans showed no brain activity.
"Joleen's body was just a shell. My radiant girl had gone," Carol remembers, with sadness in her voice.
In March 2018 the family won the legal right to withdraw treatment and Joleen was moved to the Northern Ireland Hospice.
She died in her mum's arms on April 26, 2018 as Carol sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow to her.
"I know she was with me today, with all of us, looking down. She would be proud that we've come through this and got her the justice she deserved for what happened.
"It wasn't easy hearing all the details again when the judge summed up for over an hour. It wasn't easy seeing the man responsible sitting there on video link, rubbing and clapping his hands at the end.
"The judge took into consideration that he had changed his plea to guilty - so 16 years. Even if he had have got 25 years, it still doesn't take away the pain.
"I'll take some time tomorrow, when this settled down, to go a visit Joleen's grave, talk to her, tell her we're through this. We'll all have a meal to be together as a family. We'll take some time to look at family photos of happier times that we can be thankful for.
"As a mother, sometimes those photos make you happy, sometimes they make you angry at the memories that were never made. The roller-coaster of almost four years our family has been on is calming.
"I'm surrounded by family, surrounded by children, and they're good for the soul."
Carol praised the actions of police, the prosecution service and others who helped bring O'Connor to justice.
"They all did a fabulous job and I take my hat off to them," she added.
"There are so many more families who have lost someone the way we have who fight all their lives to get justice. We've managed to do it for Joleen.
"We're tired now," said Carol. "Tired and emotional. But at least we know it's over."