Suzanne Davis, the daughter of Portstewart laundrette murder victim Marion Millican, said her mother became more distant as she began a relationship with her killer Fred McClenaghan.
“No words can describe how much I miss my mum, the simplest things from everyday life like picking up the phone to text or chat about something trivial,” she said.
“Walking into our family home and her not being there.
“Every milestone is a hurdle to cross, like birthdays, wedding, Christmas especially as it was her favourite time for family and friends.”
McClenaghan was sentenced to spend at least 13 years in jail on Monday.
Suzanne added: “After six and a half years Fred McClenaghan has finally admitted his guilt, for us as a family you can’t imagine the relief we feel.”
Throughout that time she has not been able to grieve and, as the only daughter, has worried about looking after her father, brothers and the pending court cases.
Only now can she begin to think about grieving, and try to let go of the hurt and anger and move on with her life.
Her father Ken Millican, Marion’s husband of 34 years, said his wife moved out of the family home in 2009 but he told her she was always welcome to return.
“Obviously when she started a relationship with Fred McClenaghan I was devastated,” he said. “I will never get over the loss of my wife and will never love another person the way I loved Marion.”
In the months running up to her murder they had been giving their marriage another go. He added: “I will never forget the day, Friday 11th March, when I found Marion lying on the floor of the laundrette.”
Det Supt Jason Murphy described McClenaghan as “a very callous and dangerous man” who never gave the Millican family the courtesy of an explanation as to why he killed Marion; he maintained his right to silence throughout 14 police interviews.