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The mother of Kevin Wyeth says she can 'never forgive' his killer Damon Wright
SHE WILL never be able to forgive him for robbing her of her son and her grandchildren of their dad.
Cage fighter Damon Wright has shattered Linda Timberlake’s family and yet has shown them no sign of remorse.
Today, as the man who brutally killed her son faces years behind bars, the grandmother spoke exclusively to the Daily Echo about how the heart of her family has been ripped out.
Kevin Wyeth and family at the beach in his childhood
Wright, 32, yesterday was found guilty of the manslaughter of Kevin Wyeth after hitting him with such “severe force” that his face shattered and his brain was left “significantly damaged”.
The jury at Winchester Crown Court cleared him of murder by a majority decision but they did not accept his claim that he acted in self-defence when he viciously attacked the Saints groundsman last August.
Wright stood in the dock with his head down as the jury of four women and eight men read out their verdict, which was met with cries of “Oh no!” from Kevin’s grieving family.
During the trial Wright, who is trained in eight different martial arts disciplines, admitted that he had delivered the blows that killed the dad-of-three, saying that he threw with “everything” he had wearing his eight ounce fighting gloves.
It then took him more than two hours before he called an ambulance.
As he took to the witness box during his trial, Linda was desperate to look her son’s killer straight in the eye - but he even denied her that, never daring to look up and meet her gaze.
Every day of the trial has been a heart wrenching experience for Linda and her family having to listen in detail to the violent last moments of Kevin’s life – just yards from where he was born.
Kevin Wyeth in his school days
Linda said: “I will never be able to forgive him, especially given all of the other horrendous crimes he committed before this.
“Kevin was in the prime of his life and had so much to look forward to.
“The most horrific part of all this for me wasn’t the actual hitting but the fact that CCTV footage shows him demonstrating what he had just done to my son to his friend. That makes me feel sick.”
Cage fighter Damon Wright was found guilty of manslaughter
For Kevin’s family his loss was made even worse by the fact that they had to wait so long to say a proper goodbye.
Due to the extent of his horrific injuries to his face, he had to be identified by his fingerprints, so his family, desperate to see him one last time, were unable to go and indentify him the normal way.
They then had to wait an agonising five months before they could bury him.
Linda said: “It has all been so traumatic because it was hanging over us all for so long. It has had a huge impact on all of our lives and relationships. His brothers and sister are really struggling to come to terms with it all.
“I had feared that by the time we got to bury him people may have forgotten, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.
“When we turned up to the church people were queuing out into the road and at the wake Woolston Social Club had to call extra staff in because they had never seen it so busy.
“Kevin was such a likable person and everyone in Woolston knew him.
“The biggest thing that has come out of this all is just how much he is missed by so many people. They miss his smile. He was always smiling and happy and now they all tell me that it feels empty down there without him.”
Tributes left to Kevin Wyeth at the scene
With the nightmare of the trial over, for Linda the focus now is Kevin’s three little boys.
For her, the heartbreak of knowing that the three youngsters will be forced to grow up without their dad is overwhelming.
She said: “I promised Kevin that I would look after those children and they are my main focus.
“Not only do they not have a daddy, they will grow up knowing the details of how their dad died and who knows how that will affect them when they get older.
“I cannot bear to hear about the injuries Kevin suffered – those thoughts haunt me every day – so I will do everything I can to protect those children.
Devoted dad “That’s all Kevin really wanted was the best for his children.
“He was devoted to his boys and all he wanted was to be a family.”
Keeping his memory alive for them is vital for Linda and each night the candles above her mantelpiece are lit so that she can take a special moment to remember her caring, happy-go-lucky son.
“He loved his fishing and would spend days out by the water, watching the world go by. He couldn’t wait to take his boys fishing”, Linda remembers.
“He also loved animals and there is one memory that will always be special for me, when he saved a little finch that fell from its bird nest.
“Despite being told by the RSPB to leave it because it would die, he wouldn’t give up on it and after feeding it worms, it eventually flew again.
“That shows his lovely nature, that’s what he was like.”