PARENTS ANGUISH OVER KILLER SON

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THE parents of Stephen Basson today broke their silence to tell how they could not believe their son had transformed from a hard-working boy to a cold-blooded killer.

THE parents of Stephen Basson today broke their silence to tell how they could not believe their son had transformed from a hard-working boy to a cold-blooded killer.THE parents of Stephen Basson today broke their silence to tell how they could not believe their son had transformed from a hard-working boy to a cold-blooded killer.Speaking publicly for the first time, Carol and David Basson told of their sympathy for the family of Amanda Letch (24), whose life was brutally taken by their son with a shotgun.

As reported in later editions of The Evening Telegraph yesterday, Basson was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to murdering the pregnant mum as she slept at her home in Bretton, Peterborough, last September.

His friend Michael Rayner (27), from Westwood, Peterborough, who waited outside in a car, was sentenced to eight years for manslaughter.

Basson s parents, who live in an affluent area of the city, today said they could not bear to think of their son as a killer.

Mr Basson said: "I will remember Stephen as he used to be. I do not want my lasting memory of him sitting in prison.

"He is not the Stephen I knew. It hurts so much. I can t even bring myself to talk to him or even read his letters.

"I agree with capital punishment an eye for an eye. That may sound callous to say, as it s my son, but that is how I feel."

Mr Basson, who last week received the Freedom of the City of London through his work in the food industry, said: "They have given me my freedom and he has been given life.

"I just hope Amanda s parents can accept how truly sorry we are for them, but it was out of our control."

And he said it had been difficult for the family to accept and understand Basson s plot to frame his brother Richard (21) for the murder.

Mr Basson said: "When they were younger they were typical brothers"

"We could not believe that he planned to frame his brother."

They said they first noticed changes in Basson, a former pupil of the city s Eastholm School, when he met girlfriend Stephanie Higgins (19).

She was cleared by a jury of procuring Basson to kill love rival Miss Letch, but was found guilty of perverting the course of justice.