Tragic mother looks forward to Christmas

CHRISTINE CUNNINGHAM The young mother whose boyfriend was beaten to death in a busy Norfolk restaurant last night said she was determined to give her son a wonderful Christmas - despite the fact he will never know his father.

CHRISTINE CUNNINGHAM

The young mother whose boyfriend was beaten to death in a busy Norfolk restaurant last night said she was determined to give her son a wonderful Christmas - despite the fact he will never know his father.

Jemma Todd spoke to the EDP after seeing the father and son who killed her partner, Richard Moore, jailed for nine years at Norwich Crown Court. Although she said life would never be the same without her beloved Richard, the birth of their son Cameron has given her fresh hope.

"It is a huge weight off my mind that the court case is over before Christmas and that they have got what they deserved," she said.


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"Christmas will be the first time to have a proper family celebration and, although there will be a massive hole, we are determined to enjoy it."

Miss Todd was heavily pregnant at the time of Mr Moore's death and she gave birth a month later. She and Cameron, who was nine months old yesterday, will spend Christmas Day with her mother in Norwich. Four days later they will visit the cemetery to mark what would have been Mr Moore's 22nd birthday.

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She said: "Cameron is still too young to understand what's going on, but when he's old enough I'll make sure he knows who his dad was. There is so much about him that reminds me of Richard - I'm sure that he would have done all the naughty things as a baby that Cameron is doing now."

Gerard and Jonathan Stonehouse carried out a "vicious and sustained" attack in front of frightened diners in the city's Hay Hill branch of McDonald's.

The 49-year-old and 19-year-old, both of Woodcock Road, Norwich, were both convicted of the manslaughter after a jury heard they inflicted more than 20 injuries in the fight which broke out after a row involving Jemma. Mr Moore died after one blow tore an artery in his neck. The pair had denied the charge claiming they acted in self defence.

Gerard Stonehouse was jailed for nine years and his son was given nine years in a young offenders' institution.

Sentencing them, Judge Peter Jacobs said they had both spent the day drinking before they went to McDonalds, in March, this year. Miss Todd had objected to the way Jonathan Stonehouse was staring at her in a "rude" way.

She had asked him to stop, calling him a pervert and then Jonathan Stonehouse and his father had launched the attack on Mr Moore in front of his partner and shocked diners.

"It was nothing to do with self-defence but outright aggression from first to last," said Judge Jacobs.

He said as Mr Moore lay slumped and helpless they had continued to deliver blows and the attack was caught on CCTV cameras.

"This was a vicious and sustained attack. He was defenceless while his girlfriend stood there screaming and crying for help."

Judge Jacobs gave his condolences to Miss Todd and said it was a "particularly pertinent matter" at this festive time of year.

Jonathan Mitchell, for Gerard Stonehouse said he had remained at the scene and had asked about Mr Moore following the attack.

"He has always considered this to be a tragedy."

Jonathan Goodman, for Jonathan Stonehouse, said: "This is a real tragedy. It is a tragedy for Richard Moore's family and his partner and baby. It is a tragedy for Jonathan Stonehouse too.

"Whatever length of sentence which is passed he has to live with his own conscience that his blow is most likely to have caused the death of Mr Moore. He did not intend it. He did not believe something like that could have such dreadful and tragic consequences."

After the case Det Chief Insp Mick Gent said: "When people resort to violence to resolve a minor dispute it shows the tragic consequences which can follow."

He paid tribute to the work done by officers on the case in gathering together all the evidence and bringing to the case to trial in such a short time frame.

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