1:30pm Monday 23rd January 2012
Exclusive By Jenny Makin
THE son of murdered pensioner Georgina Edmonds today revealed his firm belief that his mother’s killer will be brought to justice – however long it might take.
Speaking exclusively for the first time to the Daily Echo, Harry Edmonds described how the murder of the 77- year-old had cast “a nasty shadow over our lives” and added: “We are not yet back in the sunshine fully, but we are well on our way.”
The coffee merchant spoke out after Matthew Hamlen, the man police believed was responsible for the death of his mother, walked free from court, having been found not guilty by jurors following a two-month trial.
Mr Edmonds said he did not have the words to describe the four years that have passed since he made the shocking discovery of his mother lying dead on the kitchen floor of her cottage – just 100 yards along the drive from his own home.
He – together with his wife Diddie and their children Harry, 17 and 15-year-old Niloufar – found his life turned upside down as detectives turned the grounds of their home at Kingfisher Lodge in Brambridge into a crime scene and set about investigating one of Hampshire’s most wicked crimes.
Mr Edmonds told how he had done all he could to help police from the very moment he made the gruesome discovery, when he himself was investigated in order to be ruled out of the inquiry.
He said: “It’s been tedious. We have been very much in the hands of the police as they did everything they could possibly have done and quite rightly, at the beginning, I had to be ruled out of the investigation myself.
Terrible discovery “I came home to find my mother’s body in a pool of blood. I was the first person there and it was right for them to do that. I am a big fan of the police and far too many people criticise them.
I have done my very best to try to help them throughout.”
Mr Edmonds said it was his “strong and resilient” family that helped ease the pain of what happened to his mother on January 11, 2008, when she was repeatedly stabbed and battered to death with her own marble rolling pin.
“You just have to get on with your life – and all members of this family have done just that. We were determined this would not prevent us from making progress.
“My poor mother is dead. She was tortured and beaten to death and that won’t change. We find ourselves in this awful position that nobody is behind bars – but it’s certainly not over yet.”
Mr Edmonds chose not to attend court to hear the verdict and was out walking his mother’s dogs when he heard that jurors had acquitted Mr Hamlen following 12 hours of deliberations.
He described the fact that nobody had been brought to justice as “a serious setback that will be overcome”.
Mr Edmonds said: “The focus now is still the perpetrator to be put behind bars. We want that person locked up and the key thrown away.
“I remain confident that the compelling piece of new evidence will come, and the person who murdered Granny will be brought to justice.
“We are angry and frustrated, but however long it will take – it will happen, and we will then have closure.
“People have been most kind and supportive.
Everybody who knows and who knew Granny was horrified that something like that could happen to my mother.
“She was such a good person. That was what was so awful – that such a terrible thing could happen to someone as lovely as her.”
Mr Edmonds said he had implicit faith in Hampshire police, describing the lengthy investigation into his mother’s murder – the biggest case of its kind in more than three decades – as “world class”.
He said: “People should not lose any confidence in the police from what has happened. Older ladies should not feel any less safe in their beds.
“I would like to thank everybody who has worked so tirelessly on Operation Columbian for their dedication during the past four years. So many of them have gone beyond the call of duty.
“The family liaison officers who have supported both myself and my sister have been outstanding. I am proud to call them firm friends.
“Hampshire police have been world class and we have absolutely no criticism or objection with their efforts.
“I am sure that in due course we will have smiles on our faces once again and that will happen when Granny’s killer is where he belongs and we hear that cell door slam shut.
“It may not be immediately, but I feel certain we will, one day, get justice.”
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