An emotional statement by the distraught 17-year-old son of murdered woman Denise Williamson was read out in court.
Ryan Williamson, who is autistic and attended a special school, was the first person to find his mum after the attack by Geoff Hemming.
She was lying in a blood-drenched kitchen next to Hemming, who had a knife in his hand. Initially, he thought they had both been stabbed by an intruder.
Only moments earlier, he had spoken over the phone to his mum as he returned home.
“The events of that day will be remembered by me for the rest of my life,” said Ryan in his statement, which was read by Michael Auty QC (prosecuting).
“It was the day my whole life was turned upside down and started to spiral out of control. Until then, I was so happy with life.
“I remember panicking and running out into the garden. I was so confused. I didn’t know what I had walked home to.
“I broke down crying in the garden. Everything was a blur. All I wanted was for my mum to be all right.
“It suddenly dawned on me that I wouldn’t see her alive again. I had no-one to turn to. No-one understood me like my mum did.”
Ryan, now a college student, continued: “Later, when my family took flowers to the house, the realisation of what had happened sunk in.
“I had to arrange the funeral and do things like choose the clothes for my mum to buried in and the hymns for the service.
“I was only a schoolboy! It was so unfair. I lost count of the number of times I broke down and sobbed.
“Memories came flooding back when I went back to the house to collect my belongings.
“The pressure became so great that I self-harmed, which I am not proud of.
“My mum was my whole life. She was extremely easy-going. We watched films on TV together, lying on the sofa.
“I am now receiving counselling. I have not told anyone at college what happened.
“When I visit my mum’s grave, it upsets me. I can’t cope with it.”
Ryan has never known his natural father. When he was told that Hemming, the man he had treated as his father, was responsible for his mum’s killing, he said:
“It was a shock. It was like a nightmare. The real tragedy is that I regarded Geoff as a father-figure who had been in my life since I was nine years old.
“I bought him Father’s Day cards. I treated him as my real dad. I always felt I had a secure, loving home.
“I thought he was my friend. He even asked my to be best man at my mum’s wedding. Now he has killed her.
“There will always be a massive part of my family missing. Geoff will never know what he has put us through with his cowardly actions.
“There is nothing I would like to do more than to hold my mum in my arms and give her a big hug.
“I can never forgive Geoff Hemming for ripping apart my family.”