The grieving mum of a young man stabbed to death in a ‘senseless’ murder says she hopes her son’s killer will be HAUNTED by him forever.
Tracy Blackie said she would never get over what happened to Damien Bendelow who was murdered in a car park.
She paid tribute to her son who ‘had his whole life ahead of him’ after turning 20 just weeks earlier.
But she said she can never forgive killer Carl Smythe for stealing his future by stabbing him six times with a knife after they clashed in a pub earlier that evening.
She described the murder as a “horrible, senseless attack” that had ripped her family apart.
A jury at Truro Crown Court found Smythe, 46, guilty of murder and on Wednesday he was given a life sentence and told he must serve at least 21 years.
He had denied the charge throughout and claimed he had acted in self-defence.
And Mrs Blackie said in a statement he had continued to show no remorse for what he had done.
In a direct message to her son’s killer, she said: “You have destroyed me and given me a life sentence of hurt and pain, my world is broken and I not the same person anymore.
“I will hate you for the rest of my life, but I don’t wish you dead. Death is too easy. I want you to live a long life of pain and suffering also and hope that Damien haunts you forever.
“One day when you are an old man or your death bed asking to be forgiven, I hope you know then that there is no redemption for you.
“You are a murderer and a coward that stabbed a young boy, who was only out of his teens by a month, a young man that had his whole life ahead of him.”
The trial heard that the killer and his victim, who were strangers, had clashed in a pub in Liskeard, Cornwall on the evening of Saturday, January 25 last year.
The jury was told the fight was sparked when Smythe spoke to Damien’s girlfriend to ask if her dad would like to join for a beer, given they were old work colleagues.
Following the brawl, Smythe was kicked out and went home while Damien and his friends made their way to a party.
But, unable to let the matter lie, Smythe tracked Damien’s group down to the Cattle Market car park and killed him.
Police were called at around at 12.40am on Sunday 26 January and found Damien with stab wounds to his chest and torso.
He was treated at the scene and taken to Derriford hospital where, as a result of his injuries, he died a short time later.
Devon and Cornwall Police say Smythe then fled the scene on foot which lead to a widespread search of the area. His discarded clothing was found but no murder weapon was discovered.
He was eventually located near Liskeard train station shortly after 1.30pm on 26 January and arrested on suspicion of murder.
After the verdict on Wednesday, police described the killing as “senseless.”
And in her statement, Mrs Blackie added: “Damien was a 20-year-old young man with his whole life ahead of him when he was taken from us.
“I thought I would be writing something funny to say at his 21st birthday or even his wedding but instead I had to write his eulogy at his funeral and every word I wrote broke a bit more of my heart.
“My life is shattered, every day I wake up to the same nightmare. My Damien is no longer with me. I have cried every day and I have shut myself away from my family, they are suffering as they have also lost their mum and my husband his wife. I can’t focus on my family anymore when all I think about is Damien.
“The whole family is suffering, his sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles and grandparents from the youngest to the oldest they have all lost Damien and will all remember your name Carl Smythe the person who took Damien away from us.
“All the times I have seen you in court you show no remorse for what you have done. If you thought of Damien or his family in any way you wouldn’t put us through the ordeal of a murder trial when you know all along you are guilty of taking his life.”
Speaking after the sentencing, Mrs Blackie added: “The last time I talked to Damien was a couple of hours before this horrible, senseless attack took place and he asked me if it was OK if he could move back home.
“I said yes and his last words to me were ‘I love you mum’ and I said ‘I love you my boy.’
“When I got the call later that he had been stabbed as you can imagine I was devastated. We drove straight down to Cornwall but I did not make it. Damien passed away before I could get down to the hospital.
“The pain is unbearable as you can imagine this has been a traumatic time for my family. We lost so much but i honoured what Damien wanted and I have brought him home and have his ashes.”
Speaking after the case, senior investigating officer, Detective Inspector Steve Hambly said: “We welcome the verdict and sentence of Carl Smythe, whom will now face life in prison having killed a young man at the start of his adult life.
“The murder of Damien in the early hours of 26 January has left his family and friends devastated at the senseless loss of life, and the town of Liskeard shocked at what has happened. Damien’s family have conducted themselves with dignity from the very start and through the trial process, and I really do hope that this provides some closure for them.
“Carl Smythe was prepared to use a weapon in what was a few moments of extreme violence that ended Damien’s life – something he has not shown any remorse for.
“This case provides a very real warning to those prepared to carry and use a knife that, if you do so, you can expect the full weight of the law to be used to keep the wider population safe.”