MURDER CONVICTIONS: Families remember victims of Langley Mill flat blaze

Amy Smith, Ruby-Grace Gaunt and Ed Green were all killed in the fire at North Street, Langley Mill last June.

Amy Smith, Ruby-Grace Gaunt and Ed Green were all killed in the fire at North Street, Langley Mill last June.

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The mother of one of the victim’s of the fatal Langley Mill flat fire says she and her family are living a ‘lifelong sentence’ without her daughter and grandaughter.

Amy Smith, 17, her six-and-a-half-month-old daughter Ruby-Grace Gaunt and friend Edward Green, 17, from Belper, all died in the blaze on North Street, Langley Mill, on June 21 last year.

No verdict or sentence is going to make what happened that morning any easier for us to live with

Melanie Hawkins, Amy Smith’s mother

Yesterday (Thursday) Peter Eyre, 44, and two of his sons, 24-year-old Simon and Anthony 22, were convicted at Nottingham Crown Court of their murders.

And just minutes after the three men were found guilty, the families of the victims spoke to the media about how they would remember their loved ones.

On the steps outside Nottingham Crown Court, Melanie Hawkins, Amy Smith’s mother, said: “No verdict or sentence is going to make what happened that morning any easier for us to live with.

“We are the ones living the lifelong sentence without our beautiful girls Amy and Ruby Grace. We love you and miss you loads girls. Now you can rest in peace.”

Det Con Ryan Millard, of Derbyshire Police, read a statement on behalf of Edward Green’s family. They said his death had left a ‘huge hole behind’.

“Ed was a fun loving talented young man who made such an impact on so many people during his far too short young life. His musical ability shone like his smile and his voice was one of an angel. He leaves us with many wonderful memories but a huge hole is left behind.”

This morning (Friday), Carleen Gaunt - the grandmother of Ruby-Grace and mother of Shaun Gaunt who survived the fire along with another friend - told BBC Radio Derby how she was in Ingoldmells when the fire happened.

She revealed how she made desperate attempts to contact her son and his partner as she travelled back to Derbyshire from the East Coast.

“I knew Amy and Ruby would be at home,” she said. “I kept ringing all the time on the way home hoping and praying that they would all get out but I was wrong. They didn’t get out and they don’t deserve what’s happened to them.

“(I will now have to) try and rebuild my life. I will never forget Amy and Ruby or Shaun’s best friend Ed. I will (now) try and support my son as much as possible.”

- To listen to the BBC Derby interview with Carleen Gaunt go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/radioderby.

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