Parents of murdered Sunderland children speak of killer as ‘pure evil’

Steven Grieveson
Steven Grieveson
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THE parents of Grieveson’s victims today told of their ongoing hatred for the serial killer.

Speaking exclusively to the Echo, they described of how their pain of the past 20 years is still as raw.

On Friday, November, 26, 1993, Thomas Kelly’s body was found in a burning allotment shed, behind Monkwearmouth Hospital.

Police could not initially determine how the 18-year-old had died.

Little more than two months later, on Tuesday, February 8, 1994, David Hanson’s body was found in a derelict house on Roker seafront. He was just 15.

In the months and years that followed, the parents of both boys, brought together by tragedy, formed a bond that has helped them through their grief.

After Grieveson was found guilty of the murder of Simon Martin yesterday, they told the Echo how the trial had brought back horrific memories.

Judy Kelly, now 58, said: “We think about the boys every day, 24 hours a day, seven days a week – it never goes away.

“We will always be the family whose son was murdered. When you bump into people you know in the street and then walk away, you turn around and you know they’re saying “that’s the mum of the boy who was killed”.

Sheila Hanson, 60, said: “We never got the chance to say goodbye to our son. The pain never gets any easier, you just feel like you’re crying inside.”

Addressing Grieveson through the Echo, Mrs Hanson added: “You will never feel the pain we do as a family.

“You said that if it would make us feel better, you would kill yourself.

“Please do, you have our permission.

“Or being the coward that you are, do you not want to inflict the pain on yourself as you did our lovely boy?”

Also addressing Grieveson, Mrs Kelly, said: “Our family will never forgive you for your barbaric acts. No amount of time will ever heal such pain.

“You destroyed our family 20 years ago, and that destruction has continued to bear an impact on generations to follow.

“How could you even ask for forgiveness for that?

“You have no concept of the damage you have ignorantly left behind while continuing to destroy other families.

“No amount of pain that you feel will ever equal that which our family suffers. How can you possibly realise the damage you have caused?

“You say that you are sorry. A sorry man does not continue to destroy the lives of other innocent families by brutally attacking more young boys.

“You are pure evil and deserve the forgiveness of no one.

“We do have questions, but do not expect someone as abhorrent as you will give us answers.

“One day, our family will have answers, we will have justice and we will have honesty.

“You will never be forgiven in this life, nor will you be forgiven in the next.”

Sheila, of Monkwearmouth, told the Echo: “The children, the victims, so often get overlooked in this whole case; they have from the very beginning.”

Emotions are still raw with the families over the initial botched police investigation into their children’s deaths.

Officers suggested the boys’ deaths were related to solvent abuse, a claim later totally discredited when it became apparent a serial killer was at work.

Sheila said: “The police wanted to sweep it all under the carpet. They put the deaths down to solvent abuse and just wanted it to stay that way, when the truth was that our boys had nothing to do with solvents.”

John Hanson, 65, added: “We even had a TV company phone us up, saying they were making a documentary about solvent use and young people and asking us to take part. It was ridiculous. It was all untrue, but the police did nothing to clear it up.”

Despite yesterday’s verdict, the family say their torment will continue.

Sheila said: “When the police knocked on our door they were holding a brown paper bag. They told us “there has been a body found down near the beach”, then they pulled David’s trainer out of the bag and said “is this your son’s shoe?”

“It was heartless, what they did, the way they did it was terrible.”

Sheila says the family still struggles each day to come to terms with what happened.

“David has been dead longer than he was alive now. Do I ever wonder what he’d be like? Yes. I think about how he’s have his own family, a wife, children.”

John added: “I would have liked the chance to take my son for a pint, but I never got it.”