Scott Pritchard's parents have paid an emotional tribute to their son after his murderer was sentenced to life behind bars.
They spoke of their “kind, confident and well-liked” son as they spoke of the anguish they have suffered since his death 14 years ago.
Scott’s father, Fred Stacey, fell ill last week and remains in hospital, meaning he was unable to see his son’s killer put behind bars.
Fred had previously been charged over his son's death only for the case to later be withdrawn on the day his trial was due to start.
Before the sentencing hearing took place he revealed how Scott "deserved to enjoy everything that was ahead of him" and he will "never be forgotten".
Mr Stacey said: "No parent should have to bury their child. Words can’t describe what Scott meant to us – he was a fantastic lad who had so much to look forward to.
"The last 14 years have been incredibly tough for everyone who knew Scott, and our pain has been compounded with the knowledge that his killer was still at large.
"All we’ve ever wanted since his death was justice. While no sentence could take away the hurt that we have felt since Scott was murdered, we can hopefully look forward knowing the individual responsible can never destroy another family.
"Scott deserved to live a long life. He deserved to enjoy everything that was ahead of him and go on to fulfil his potential. He’ll always be in our hearts and will never be forgotten."
Scott’s mother, Kathleen Pritchard, said: "Scott was a wonderful son who had his best years still ahead of him. He had so much to live for.
"He had grown into a kind, confident and well-liked young man who was cruelly taken from us 14 years ago.
"No sentence today could have brought Scott back, and the pain we have felt every day since he was murdered will never subside. There will always be a void in our lives where Scott once was. He was a wonderful son, a one in a million.
"Losing your son is hard enough, but not knowing the reason why made coming to terms with Scott’s death so much more difficult. Every night for more than 10 years I went to sleep knowing his killer was out there, who was refusing to come forward and allow the family closure.
"Now, with his killer behind bars, we finally have some kind of justice for Scott – and hope he can rest in peace knowing the person who did this is no longer walking the streets."