Agony goes on for mum of murder victim

Brent Martin and his mother Brenda.
Brent Martin and his mother Brenda.
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THE mother of murdered Brent Martin says she still thinks about him every minute of every day.

Brent, 23, who had learning difficulties, died five years ago today after a brutal attack at the hands of a gang of yobs he thought were his friends.

His mum Brenda, 67, said she still feels the “gentle giant” is with her.

“Brent is on my mind every minute of every day and as it gets nearer the 25th I’m just breaking up,” she said.

“I feel terrible this week and this is the worst I have been.”

Vulnerable Brent sustained fatal injuries when he was beaten in a prolonged and savage attack in Town End Farm.

Every year Brent’s grieving family take flowers to the place where he was found – dumped between two cars by his killers – and to his grave at Mere Knolls cemetery, where he is buried next to his dad Alex, who died when Brent was just five.

Brenda, who lives in Witherwack, said: “I feel Brent’s presence all the time. I still feel his hands round my waist.

“It is fresh all the time. When I’m out people still ask how I am and how I’m coping.

“There are still some nice people in the world.

“Not a day goes by and not a minute goes by when he is not in my mind.”

Brent’s five remaining siblings, Tracey, 49, Angela, 48, Beverley, 46, Alex, 45 and twin Danielle, said: “Brent will never be forgotten. He is our hearts for ever and ever.”

Brenda, who is a grandmother of 26, still takes comfort in a memorial garden created for her precious son, which opened three years ago.

Former colleagues at Bishopwearmouth Horticultural Nursery created a special garden in Brent’s memory, with a centrepiece tree and unveil a plaque at the garden, off Chester Road.

The nursery is run by Sunderland City Council’s Adult Services department to provide work and training for people with learning disabilities.

Brent attended the centre for three years until his death in August 2007.

His attackers, William Hughes, 23, Marcus Miller, 18, and Stephen Bonallie, 19, all received life terms at Newcastle Crown Court in February 2008.

But Brent’s family were devastated when all three had their sentence tariffs reduced at the Court of Appeal.

Twitter: @janethejourno