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Teresa De Simone's parents see David Lace for the first time
LOOKING at the picture of her daughter’s killer as a young man, Mary Sedotti gasps.
Surprisingly she is not angry with the white-suited ginger-haired man enjoying celebrations at a family wedding.
She says she feels only sadness.
She said: “It seems he turned out to be quite a nice looking boy. He appears quite normal and a nice person. You would never have believed he could have been capable of doing that, looking at these pictures now.”
The picture was taken three years after Lace brutally murdered her daughter Teresa. They had already seen a picture of him as a young boy of 14.
Mary said: “It was a surprise.
‘I suppose the police thought it was all over and they had the right man in prison’Mary Sedotti
“It was a shock to see he was so young. Nowadays it would be nothing to hear of a young boy committing awful crimes because you hear about it all the time.
“But not 30 years ago, it didn’t happen.”
Having learnt about Lace’s broken childhood, she added: “It’s a shame. He could not have had a very good life. He wasn’t a very happy boy. It doesn’t sound like he had much of a happy childhood.
“It’s a shame for his family having just found out all these years later.”
Mary continued: “I just felt sad but I don’t feel angry. He must have been someone with a conscience to feel the way he felt, to have committed suicide. It’s just a shame that he never told anybody why.”
She added that her anger was still with Sean Hodgson, who spent 27 years in prison after making a false confession to Teresa’s murder.
Mary added: “If it was not for him telling all those lies in the first place then the police may have carried on speaking more to others.”
Mary and husband Michael told how they did not want Mr Hodgson to be compensated but admitted that under the rules of British justice it was likely.
Talking about confessions made to police after Mr Hodgson was jailed for Teresa’s murder in 1982, Mary said: “We only ever knew about two phone calls.
“It was from someone who was very distressed and he never left his name.
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“For us, Hodgson was imprisoned and the whole thing was dying down. When Lace made his confession he seemed to know a lot. It seems he told police quite a bit too. But they never had DNA back then so they couldn’t prove anything.
“I suppose the police thought it was all over and they had the right man in prison so they never went much further with those confessions.
“Knowing what I do now, I wish they had.”
Mary said: “He was quite like Hodgson as they had both been to prison and this one (Lace) confessed as well – but for him it was too late. Hodgson fooled them. He fooled everybody, and they (the police) believed the wrong man.”
Speaking of the reinvestigation which started six months ago, Michael said: “To be frank I was and am stunned. I don’t know what to think.
“It has been one of the biggest surprises.
We thought everything was all done and finished and then they told us the case was being opened again. The police have done a great job to be able to have results in a matter of such a short time.”
Mary added: “We are just relieved, I suppose, that all this has come to a close.
I can’t praise the police enough really for working hard to get the result so quickly.
“I didn’t ever think they would find anybody after all this time, I’m just so grateful.
“Throughout the last ten months I never thought there was any hope but the police said there was always hope. They were right. Teresa can now rest in peace and we can get on with our lives.”