Page last updated at 15:13 GMT, Thursday, 4 June 2009 16:13 UK

'Only the Devil is capable of this'

In a statement read out in the Old Bailey court room, Gabriel Ferez's mother, Francoise Villement, explained the effect of his murder on the family.

How to carry on, to live and survive after you have lost your murdered child in such inhuman conditions? He died suffering in such a way. I could never forget what was done to him.

This barbaric act is indescribable and inexcusable. No human being deserves such a death. To die for so little gain does not make any sense to anybody.

Gabriel Ferez
Gabriel Ferez's mother said her son had a "pure and gentle soul"

My son Gabriel wanted to live. He loved life and everything it had to offer. Even from a very young age he was keen to embrace his surroundings and was very open to the world and its culture.

Gabriel was a sociable boy who had been recognised by his teachers. He was my pride and joy. He was kind and sensitive, worrying and concerned for the whole family. He was an everyday happiness.

He wanted to see the people around him happy and he contributed to this with his love for life, devotion and kindness.

He was very caring to his baby sister when she was born and throughout their childhood and teenage years they were very close and were always together.

There was never a forgotten birthday or Christmas. He was just as caring when his younger brother was born.

'Natural talent'

Before attending college, Gabriel knew what his future profession would be. He wanted to become a biochemist. It was very easy for him to study and succeed in this field, because he loved it so much. His teachers loved him for his natural talent and ability.

All he wanted to do was become a biochemist. It was his life.

Olivier Ferez
Olivier Ferez,
Gabriel Ferez's father

"I can no longer stand hearing people complain about trivial problems in a supermarket queue for instance.

"I might also tell you that every morning on my way to work, I cry, always at the same hour. I no longer know how to answer people when they ask how many children I have.

"I might tell you that I do not sleep at night and I fill it with the sound of the radio to occupy my mind and stop thinking. I might tell you that I feel ashamed of laughing now.

"I might tell you that I look elsewhere whenever I come across the sight of a wedding, of other people's happiness because the display of their joy is like so many stab wounds to my heart."

At home he was passionate about music. Indochine was his favourite group. He went to all their concerts and his walls were covered in their posters and signed memorabilia.

His other passions were computers and tennis. On the eve of his death he even went to Wimbledon to try and watch a game.

He volunteered his spare time to look after children during the holiday period, similar to a summer camp. He was also the treasurer of his association at engineering college.

He always promoted that you could have fun without taking drugs or drinking alcohol.

Although he was only 23 years old, he was very responsible as well as ambitious, without being pretentious.

Gabriel had his own problems, but he was always there for his friends. He had a very generous nature and would always help people if he could.

Gabriel was aware that we his parents struggled to finance his studies and contributed when he could, by working during the holidays, washing up in a hospital and giving private tuition to students who were struggling with their studies. He tried not to burden us financially and he was never demanding.

My relationship with my son was marvellous and we spoke to each other regularly. He would talk about his studies, his marks as well as his disappointments and his love of life. We would talk about everything and there was nothing taboo.

I was, I am and always will be very proud of my son who was a talented and exceptional human being with a pure and gentle soul.

He had respect for everybody in society irrespective of who they were.

Whenever he was away his younger brother and sister and I would miss him terribly and we could not wait for him to come home in the holidays. His brother and sister adored him and would hang on his every word.

I cannot emphasise enough how much he loved life. Whilst studying, he had travelled around the world and was proud to be in the capital of a European country.

He was thrilled to have been admitted to the prestigious Imperial College and to make his presentation in English at the end of his studies.

He worked very long hours to complete his studies and report his findings. His professors were very proud of him and his work.

Francoise Villement
Francoise Villement said she could no longer make sense of her life

He wanted to become a researcher with the aim of bettering the life of future generations, by advanced molecular studies with a view to eradicate diseases.

'Shattered forever'

Today he has been savagely killed. This very intelligent human being has been killed to satisfy a very destructive human need. For me, only the Devil is capable of doing this.

My life stopped on the 29 June 2008. I feel battered and bruised as a mother forever scarred. I can no longer live an ordinary life.

Nothing can make me forget the gratuitous torture inflicted upon my loving son.

My daughter and younger son's lives have been shattered forever. Our beloved has been snatched from us for the rest of our lives. I can no longer make sense of my life.

Gabriel, when I go into your bedroom and see your clothes, look at your study papers and all the things that you grew up with, I cry out to you from the bottom of my heart: "You should still be here, but you are not."

I wait for your return every day. I cannot believe that I will never see you again. My heart suffers from the deepest wound from which it will never recover.

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