The heartbroken mother of murdered Gemma Hayter has spoken out during National Hate Crime Awareness Week about her daughter’s horrific death.
Gemma, aged 26, of Rugby, was beaten to death by a gang of five in 2010 and suffered over one hundred bruises to her body.
The young woman, who had learning difficulties, had met two of her attackers the night before and was punched in the face. She met the other three the following day after she was talked in to visiting one of their flats.
Gemma was led to a disused railway line in Hillmorton by the group. She was badly beaten, stabbed, suffocated and stripped naked. In September 2011, Joe Boyer, Chantelle Booth and Daniel Newstead were given life sentences for Gemma’s murder. Jessica Lynas and Duncan Edwards received 13 and 15-year terms respectively, having been convicted of manslaughter.
Gemma’s mother, Sue Prince, has bravely spoken out about her daughter’s death to raise awareness of hate crimes.
She said: “I want you to know what they did, because my family and I do not want anything like this to happen to anybody else. To this day I cannot understand how anybody could inflict this sort of thing on another human being. The violence in these two attacks which took place is absolutely unbelievable.
“I do not know why they did what they did, it devastated so many lives, even their own families must have been affected; how do you accept that your teenage son or daughter committed such horrific acts? They acted like a pack of wild animals.”
Sue said her daughter would have forgiven her attackers if she had survived the ordeal as she ‘craved friends’.
“Gemma was different, she had learning difficulties, she looked different,” Sue said.
“I am sure that if she had survived these attacks she would have forgiven them. She craved friends, she forgave anybody anything just to keep their friendship. Not friendship as you and I think of it, but just some sort of acceptance was enough for her.
“She had been bullied all of her life, had the mickey taken out of her and it used to break my heart every time it happened.”
The Serious Case Review into Gemma’s death is being used to teach students in universities and colleges throughout the UK.
“That is great as far as my family and I are concerned – it means that Gemma did not die in vain,” Sue added.
Warwickshire Police will be publishing a series of hate crime awareness blogs and is encouraging anyone affected by hate crime to come forward.