Family of Ricky Collins face killer Bradley Ward to tell him they are now "broken forever"

The family of Sheffield dad Ricky Collins faced his killer in court this week to tell him how his actions have left them “broken forever”.

Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 6:28 am

Bradley Ward, 24, of Frecheville, who is to be sentenced today, murdered the 31-year-old dad in March last year by fatally stabbing him.

At Derby Crown Court on Monday, Ricky’s family – his partner, his mum, his step mum and his sister – faced Ward to tell him how the consequences of his actions continue to haunt them every day.

Ricky’s partner, Sarah Gibson, stood in the dock to say the family would carry their grief “for the rest of their lives”.

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The family of Sheffield's Ricky Collins told his killer in court how his devastating actions still haunt them today.

“How do you put something so soul crushing into words?,” said the young mother.

“I am devastated – broken forever.

“The night Ricky was taken away from us will haunt me forever.”

Floral tributes in Killamarsh in memory of Ricky Collins. The 31-year-old dad was stabbed to death by Ricky Collins as he was waiting in his car.

She told the court her and Ricky were together raising three children.

She said: “As a mother trying my best to keep our family together has been and always will be the hardest thing to do. My heart breaks every day but I know I have to stay strong for our children.

“All of the milestones as a family have been taken away from us. Every birthday, Christmas, every first day at school are broken forever.

“We will never forget him.”

Ward was due to be jailed on Monday. However, delays in court and a fire alarm – believed to have been maliciously started – meant the sentencing was put back to January 19, another two days where Ricky’s family had to wait to see his killer go to prison.

He will be sentenced alongside his parents – David Ward, 44, and Kelly Ward 42, both from Sheffield – as well another man, Martin Mongan, 45, of Pontefract, who all pleaded guilty to assisting Bradley Ward avoid police custody in the hours after the killing.

In a statement read out in court by Prosecutor Adam Pearson, Ricky's mum said: “I have known the Ward family for many years, and a long time ago I would have even called them friends.”

Addressing the killer, she said: “I will never understand why this vicious attack on Ricky and the events that followed after happened.

“Ricky had his whole life ahead of him. He had three beautiful children. He didn't deserve to be killed. All of your actions have left me and my family devastated. We struggle to get through every day and that will never change. My little boy has gone forever.”

She also described the pain of losing Ricky after her eldest son and Ricky’s brother, Liam Collins, died in a motorbike accident in October 2014. She said: “I lost my eldest son six years ago, and now you have taken my youngest son. I now have to go through life without them.”

Bradley Ward also had to face Ricky’s sister, who called her brother her “hero”, and his stepmum, who said: “I would do anything to have him here today and see his amazing smile light up the room.”

In December, when the jury read out his guilty verdict, Ward reportedly called out to the family: “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to kill him.”

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