THE family of murdered Sheffield teenager Jamie Stuart say a ‘weight has been lifted from their shoulders’ - and justice finally served - after the thug who knifed him to death was jailed for 23 years.
Jamie’s grandmother Anne Gray told The Star her grandson had planned on working as a bricklayer, settling down and starting a family, but was cruelly denied the chance by ‘dangerous’ killer Danny Parr.
Jamie’s mum Dawn said, 15 months on from the killing, she still wakes every morning thinking of her murdered son.
Dawn, aged 47, has had Jamie’s face immortalised in a tattoo so he is ‘with her all the time’.
Jamie, 19, was walking home from a friend’s birthday party when he was knifed by 21-year-old Parr on Holgate Avenue, Parson Cross.
The blade pierced the teenager’s heart and, as he lay bleeding to death, Parr fled the scene and bragged to pals about the attack. The killer was jailed for life, with a term of at least 23 years, at Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday.
Anne, 69, a retired school dinner lady, said: “We feel so relieved the trial part is over, and we’ve now got justice for him.
“It’s like a great weight that’s been hanging over us for the last 15 months has been lifted off our shoulders.
“But we’ll never get over what happened to Jamie.”
Jamie’s mum said there is a ‘big piece missing’ from her life.
“I wake up in the morning and I can’t believe he’s not here,” said Dawn.
“Everybody thinks the tattoo is fantastic. I had it done as a tribute to him, and to make sure he is with me all the time. I don’t have to go to photos. I can touch him and kiss him and talk to him - he’s always there now.”
Anne said: “We thought the jail sentence was great. We all wanted to jump up and down in court but we weren’t allowed.
“We hope Parr stays in jail and his sentence keeps carrying on. We’ve not got our lad, but his parents will have him back eventually.
“It’s been totally devastating for our family. It was totally unexpected. You hear about it happening to other people but you don’t expect it to happen to you.”
Jamie’s dad David Stuart, 53, has leukaemia and has been heartbroken by the loss of his only son, while Jamie’s half-brother Lee, 29, has also been shattered by the murder.
The brothers were close, and enjoyed regular fishing trips with their grandfather Ronald Gray, who died three years before Jamie was killed in July 2011.
“Ronald would have been more devastated than anyone,” Anne said. “He idolised Jamie and Lee.”
Jamie attended Yewlands College in Grenoside, and later worked at Graham’s Tyres on Leppings Lane. Before he died he took an NVQ with the ambition of being a bricklayer.
“He’d just turned his life around because he was a bit of a lad, but he’d sorted himself out, got himself a girlfriend and took a bricklaying course,” said Anne. “I would have liked to have seen him carry on and do that.”
Jamie also wanted to be a dad and, only months before he died, his girlfriend had suffered a miscarriage.
“He would have settled down and had a child,” Anne said.
Jamie’s grandmother said she didn’t believe Parr’s claims of remorse.
“He didn’t show anything, nothing at all,” she said. “He used to swagger into court and swagger out again, and smirked at his friends.”
Parr was convicted following a retrial. Before the case came to court he made a series of menacing phone calls from Doncaster Prison, telling pals to scare off prosecution witnesses.
Judge Roger Keen QC told Parr he was ‘cold-blooded’ and warned him: “You will probably be in prison for many years after the term I have fixed.”