The family of a four-year-old boy who was savagely murdered as he slept in his bed have finally felt able to move back into the house where the horror occurred.
Sharon Smith, whose son Riley Turner, was killed in a frenzied attack by former soldier Anwar Rosser in January 2013, said she had made the decision because Riley’s twin brother Mackenzie, now five, had been asking when the family could return home.
She said for the past 16 months, she had had not been able to face living full-time at the house in Harewood Road, Bracken Bank. Keighley.
Miss Smith, her partner Guy Earwaker and sons Mackenzie and Tyler, had stayed at her parents’ house. She said: “I’ve been going up to our house through the day to get used to being there, then sleeping down here because we couldn’t cope at night.
“McKenzie wanted to go back, he hates the mess of this.”
Sharon said Mackenzie missed his twin, and repeatedly asked ‘did that man kill Riley?’.
Riley’s grandfather Tommy Smith, also of Bracken Bank, said: “Mackenzie is coping with things, he’s a strong lad but he does get very angry.”
Miss Smith added: “We want to thank everyone who’s helped us along the way.
“There were lots of people, even people we didn’t know.”
She said she particularly wanted to thank Dyan Ryan and Christine Templeton, who organised fundraising in the aftermath of Riley’s death, and pubs that hosted benefit nights.
Riley’s grandmother, also called Sharon, said much of the proceeds went on Riley’s funeral, which included white horses and a Spiderman theme.
A mass of toys and cards from well-wishers still decorates Riley’s grave at Utley Cemetery, and Riley’s name lights up at.
Keighley Campus joinery students this week provided a plaque with Riley’s name carved out of wood.
Miss Smith said Worth Valley Primary School, which the twins attended, had also provided valuable supporty. Fundraising by pupils helped created a Trim Trail in memory of the little boy who loved fun and laughter.
Earlier this week, the Telegraph & Argus exclusively revealed that Rosser, 33, who admitted Riley’s murder, had been granted a full hearing at the Court of Appeal in his bid to overturn the whole-life tariff the judge imposed wheh he was convicted at Bradford Crown Court in February this year.
Miss Smith said she was disgusted by the decision and added: "He should rot.”