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13 June 2013, 17:54
An emotional statement was read out from the parents of PC Nicola Hughes, after her killer was told he will spend the rest of his life in jail.
Statement from Nicola’s mum Sue, brother Sam, step father Mike and boyfriend Gareth.
"Nicola was first and foremost our daughter and sister to her younger brother Sam. She was our only daughter, beautiful, loving, thoughtful, caring, hard-working and happy.
"In September 2012 she was at her happiest. She was a very proud and dedicated police officer. She had a career that she loved and enjoyed, with colleagues, who she often called friends.
"She was planning her future with her boyfriend Gareth and had just become the proud godmother of Jack.
"She had so much to look forward to, a bright future, one she had worked hard for and one she deserved to live to the full.
"For Nicola and Fiona whose lives were taken away in the most unnecessary and brutal of circumstances;
"For her family and friends who lost the most beautiful, fun loving and dedicated young woman that ever lived;
"For the officers and staff of Greater Manchester Police who lost a valued colleague, partner and friend.
"As for the man who took our beautiful devoted daughter, sister and girlfriend away from us, we hope he remains incarcerated for the rest of his life, that he may never, ever, inflict such pain and suffering on anyone ever again.
"Now we need the time to reflect and come to terms with these past traumatic months and politely ask that we are left in private whilst we grieve for the loss of our beautiful girl."
We were ripped apart beyond belief that day, nothing could have prepared us for the utter devastation we were about to endure for no reason other than the fact that Nicola was a police officer. She was brutally and callously murdered in the most despicable and cowardly way.
We can only imagine what thoughts and feelings she experienced in those few seconds it took for this person to pull the trigger and for Nicola to draw her last breath.
Our lives have been shattered beyond belief and will never be the same again, to have a child taken from you in such a cruel and meaningless way is without doubt the worst thing any parent can wish to imagine.
There are other people who should also bear some responsibility for the deaths of Nicola & Fiona, those people who harboured and assisted this person while he was at large following the equally horrific murders that led up to the deaths of Nicola and Fiona, they should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.
Today sees another part of this nightmare draw to a close, therefore we ask the time and space to grieve for Nicola in private.