ROSS PARKER TRIAL: 'What they did was unforgivable'

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ROSS Parker's father Tony has said he will never forgive the men who murdered his son.

ROSS Parker's father Tony has said he will never forgive the men who murdered his son.ROSS Parker's father Tony has said he will never forgive the men who murdered his son.

>> THE MURDER THAT SHOCKED A CITY - Read our extended coverage of this tragic story, .

His voice breaking with emotion, the heartbroken dad spoke of the disgust he felt for Ross's killers. But from the depths of his heart he called on city people from different ethic communities to live together in peace.

With his wife Davinia (46) and daughter Leanne (23), by his side, Tony said of his son's killers: "I am disgusted by them. They will never be forgiven by us because what they did was unforgivable."

Even now, after all that has happened, Tony often replays in his mind how the shadow of tragedy fell over his happy family home in the early hours of Friday, September 21, last year.

He said: "We were in bed fast asleep. I woke up, the phone was ringing and there was knocking on the door. My wife and daughter were downstairs first. My wife shouted for me to come down.

"My mother is getting old and is in residential care and we thought it was that. There were two police officers at the door to tell us Ross was dead.

"They gave us a rough idea of what had happened but they didn't know themselves at that time.

"It was just unbelievable, and such a shock to the system. It's just one of those things you don't think will ever happen.

"It was just a matter of waiting for information and of getting the chance to see him. It was just one big waiting game.

"We knew pretty much from the word go that it was racist. We were told he had been attacked by a group of Asians, but we didn't know why. We still don't know why."

The questions that will always remain without answers are all part of the Parker family's ongoing nightmare of turning events over and over in their minds. They know they can talk about it, rage about it, despair about it. But nothing they, nor anyone else, does can change it.

Tony says candidly: "You don't cope, you just have to carry on. Each day is just like a new challenge and you just have to motivate yourself and try to turn away from everything that is negative."

But sometimes the doubts and "what if?'' questions will not go away or stop tormenting them. As Tony says: "His mother spoke to Ross that night. She wishes now that she hadn't let him stop out the night''.

It is just part of a greater tragedy, but Tony still can't make sense of Ross dying at the hands of Asians because his son had never been racist and had Asian friends.

He said: "A lot of our friends are from different ethnic backgrounds and my son was the same. He had many Asian friends. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"People were talking at the time of taking revenge, but we didn't want to see any more bloodshed.

"It's just absolutely stupid. Why can't everyone just live in peace''?

After Ross was killed, leaders of the Asian community visited the Parker family to express their sorrow and Tony said they had been "very supportive" throughout their ordeal.

Now the case is over, the family somehow has to carry on with life. It will not be easy.

Tony said: "I have got to move on now for my family, friends, my daughter''.

"It is what Ross would have wanted as hard as it is. Some days it is very difficult and you just think 'What's the point of it all'?"

With tears in her eyes, Leanne also spoke about her brother.

She said: "I will always remember him being such a happy lad. He had so many friends and he was always out.

"We had a typical brother/sister relationship and we worked together as well, so we were close.

"I have had the support of loads of friends and family, and his friends still keep in contact with us.

"Keeping in touch with them makes us think we are keeping in touch with Ross at the same time."

Lives turned upside down by savage attack

AS they left Northampton Crown Court, Ross Parker's sister, Leanne, read from a prepared statement.

Flanked by her parents, Tony and Davinia, she said: "Today's verdict of guilty for three of the defendants has brought us some relief. Relief that justice has in some way been done. Happy would not be a word to describe our feelings.

"The verdict still does not alter the fact that our lives were turned upside down on September 21 last year by the death of Ross, a savage attack that should never have happened.

"We still have to live the rest of our lives without Ross, a young man who gave us so much love and happiness.

"We would like to thank our family and friends for their support. We would also like to thank the police officers involved in the investigation and, in particular, our family liaison officers. The prosecution team have been remarkable. Can we also thank those people, who didn't know us, who sent us cards and letters of support.

"We do hope now that the media will continue to respect our privacy, so we can try to take the steps to rebuild our lives."