The parents of a teenager stabbed to death in Norwich by a drugs gang have spoken of their 19 months of turmoil since their son was murdered.

Emma and Phil Dix maintained a dignified silence throughout two trials held following the murder of their 18-year-old son Joe outside his flat in Vale Green, Mile Cross.

Eastern Daily Press: Police in Vale Green after Joe Dix was stabbed to deathPolice in Vale Green after Joe Dix was stabbed to death (Image: Peter Walsh, Newsquest)

But following the end of a second trial where Hans Beeharry, Benjamin Gil and Cameron Palmer, all 19, were found guilty of their son's murder the couple have spoken publicly for the first time about his death and their hopes for the future.

In a statement released to this newspaper Emma and Phil, both 46, who live in Salhouse, in the property Joe grew up in, said: "The past 19 months have thrown our lives in turmoil with the tragic death of our beloved son Joe. 

"It is unthinkable that a child should die before their parents. However Joe was not sick, we did not have time to say goodbye.

Eastern Daily Press: Joe DixJoe Dix (Image: Supplied by family of Joe Dix)

"He was taken from us when he was brutally attacked in Norwich by Cameron Palmer, Hans Beharry and Ben Gil who were carrying knives and a sword. 

"Joe was on his way to help a mate who had called him."

While the couple might have the prospect of some closure when their son's killers are sentenced next month they know it will never bring him back.

Eastern Daily Press: Cameron Palmer, Hans Beeharry and Benjamin GilCameron Palmer, Hans Beeharry and Benjamin Gil (Image: Norfolk Police)

They said: "Justice may have been served, however there are no winners from knife crime. 

"We will never get Joe back. 

"The ripple effect from Joe’s murder is huge not only impacting on our family and friends, but everyone who knew Joe along with the local community. 

"We would like to thank everyone for their support, messages and love."

Eastern Daily Press: Emma DixEmma Dix (Image: Submitted by family of Joe Dix)

The guilty verdicts last month brought to an end what turned out to be a second murder trial after the jury in the first trial had to be discharged following the discovery of new evidence, after police managed to unlock a phone belonging to one of the defendants that had been dumped in the river Yare.

Eastern Daily Press: Police in Vale Green after Joe Dix was fatally stabbedPolice in Vale Green after Joe Dix was fatally stabbed (Image: Peter Walsh, Newsquest)

As well as accessing group chat messages, the unlocking of the phone also enabled police to be able to locate burnt clothing worn by the killers on the night of the murder.

But the delay meant the couple had to wait more than six months for a second trial to reach a resolution and to sit through the evidence for a second time.

They said: "Since January 2023 we have faced Joe's murderers in court for a total of 10 weeks. 

"We were devastated when the first trial ended suddenly in week five.

"The prospect of having to wait another six months and hearing the evidence was again horrendous. 

Eastern Daily Press: Flowers in Vale Green after Joe Dix was fatally stabbedFlowers in Vale Green after Joe Dix was fatally stabbed (Image: Newsquest)

"Going into the second trial we constantly feared that the trial would stop again. 

"We would like to thank the court staff for their kindness and respect."

Mr and Mrs Dix said that while on this "haunting journey" they have been on over the past year or so they have met some "amazing individuals".

They wanted to "wholeheartedly thank everyone" involved in the police operation for their "dedication, persistence, and respect that they have given us".

Eastern Daily Press: Joe DixJoe Dix (Image: Submitted from family of Joe Dix)

The couple are now focused on "getting emotionally and mentally strong" while "continually supporting our daughter too". 

They have launched the Joe Dix Foundation - a charity aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of knives and knife crime - in his memory to try and stop the same fate happening to other teens.

The couple added: "Joe will never be forgotten; we will put our efforts into the Joe Dix Foundation and hope to raise awareness of the risks associated with knife crime, gangs and child exploitation.

"The community needs to realise that this is a problem within our region and it can effect anyone."