Since the murders of Samantha and Kimberley in March 2012, and the formation of this charity in 2014 there have been so many things going on. Before the murders I had never given any thought to everything that goes on within a family after such a tragic event like murder. No one can prepare a family for what goes on in respect of what surviving family members go through. I myself received treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the treatment lasted until the charity was started in 2013. The Samantha Sykes Foundation was, during that dark period of my life and still is now, a welcome distraction. The work we do gives me a goal and purpose to carry on. Something I firmly believe in, something positive from such a huge negative.
Ahmad Otak was sentenced to thirty four years imprisonment before he can even be considered for parole, that means he is not eligible for early release. He cannot be released before March 11th 2046. Unlike other prison terms, someone on a fixed prison term can only be released when it is sanctioned by the residing Home Secretary.
When we consider any sentence given it is often followed with, and we hear it said so many times, that “the family has a full life sentence” , I always considered this statement a cliché, but having being projected in to the position we now find ourselves in, I now realise that it is anything but a cliché.
In an effort to explain why we believe that statement to be true we should consider the following events, all post the murders of Sami & Kim: Following the murders of Sami & Kim we have had so many tragic family losses, the first was my mother who refused treatment for cancer, she had lost the will to live, she spoke to me candidly about the loss of Sami and how she struggled to comprehend it, Samantha was murdered on the weekend of my mothers 80th birthday. My mother died from her illness just four weeks after Ahmad Otak was sentenced, she passed away on New Years Eve 2012. Following the loss of my mother Samantha’s grandad David, following the sudden death of Samantha’s grandmother, and then the loss of Samantha became extremely withdrawn. Following the death of Samantha’s grandmother Sami spent time with her grandad supporting him and the only time I saw him smile was when Sami was there with him. Following the murder(s) David deteriorated in to an alcoholic, and died through alcohol in a tragic fire at his home in September 2014. After the loss of David was the loss of my youngest brother Ian, who was so instrumental in the formation of this charity, . The emotional burden showed at times on Ian and it will have been a contributing factor to him taking his own life in October 2015. After Ian had passed it then had a knock on effect within his own family, his loss was devastating to all of us, and in April this year Ian’s beautiful daughter Bethany, aged just 26 took her own life also, another massive loss. I cannot possibly explain what all of those events have done to all of us as a family. At this point in my life, particularly as a sceptic, it would not be a good time to ask if I believe there is a god.
I believe that all of the losses I have quoted, are in some way a knock on from March 9th 2012, I do not believe they are the sole cause, but certainly the knock on effect is evident. A close friend says ” there is no such thing as coincidence”.