THE wife of acid murder victim Barry Selby is hoping his death will not be in vain, and urged victims of crime to tell police, to prevent other deaths.
Donna Selby bravely gave evidence of her husband’s murder during the six-week trial and sat tearfully in the public gallery with other members of the family as the guilty verdicts were returned and long jail sentences imposed.
She said giving evidence had been one of the hardest days of her life and she told how much she missed the man she had spent more than half her life with.
“We have been to hell and back in the last eight months,” said Donna, 43. “I met Barry when I was 16, I suppose you could say we were childhood sweethearts.
“It should have been our 25th wedding anniversary in January. That was a tough day, as have been other dates, like Barry’s birthday in December and Father’s Day.
“At the moment we are just trying to let it sink in that we have got justice, and taking one day at a time.”
Mrs Selby said her husband had lived for his family.
“He was an amazing husband and dad and it was typical of him that he died protecting me and our daughter.”
When the intruders burst into the bedroom at the couple’s home in Rayleigh Street, East Bowling, in the early hours of the morning, Mr Selby immediately told Donna to hide at the side of the bed, as he tried to keep the men at bay.
Mrs Selby said: “That was typical of him. It is very hard to take in that he has gone. I wake up every morning and he isn’t there and I go to bed every night and he isn’t there. But I like to think he is still with me somewhere.”
Barry’s sister-in-law, Wendy Selby, said: “He lived for Donna and his three children. They came first in everything he did.”
Donna said her husband loved their two grandchildren, aged seven and three.
“He was just a normal, loving, hardworking, innocent man, who wanted a quiet life. He loved his football, watching Bradford City and Tyersal FC, and he liked having a drink on a Friday night. He had a great sense of humour and had never been in trouble.
“He was a factory manager, working 12 hours a day to provide for us all. He always put his family first.”
Donna said they had been through so much it had been important to get justice.
“I couldn’t be happier with the verdicts and sentences. But the court case has been horrible from start to finish and the last three days of it were traumatic.
“It has been terribly hard to relive it all and listen to the details of what happened to Barry. And it was really difficult to see people in the dock smirking and chatting.
“Giving evidence was horrendous. It wasn’t a case of being courageous, it was something I had to do for an innocent man.”
Donna said police had done a “fantastic job” during the investigation, and she praised the police family liaison officers, Andy Wilson and Richard Peckett. “They have helped us get through the last few months and been there for us. They have been our rock.”
And Mrs Selby urged other people to tell police about problems, instead of letting them build up.
“If Barry’s death saves somebody else’s life because someone picks up the phone and reports something, then his death will not have been in vain. If anything good was to come out of this, it would be that the culture of Holme Wood changes.
“People shouldn’t have to suffer any more. If they have got a problem they should talk to the police and get it sorted so somebody else doesn’t die.”