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Thursday, 4 October, 2001, 16:08 GMT 17:08 UK
Josie's fears over Stone verdict
Josie Russell
Josie Russell has made a remarkable recovery
The police officer who helped Josie Russell recall the horrific attacks has told how the teenager had feared that Michael Stone would walk free from court.

Pc Pauline Smith spent many hours working with Josie to piece together what happened on that afternoon when her mother and sister were brutally killed and she was left for dead.

It has been five years but Lin and Megan are still talked about openly in the house

Pc Pauline Smith
The officer remembered how Josie had considered the possibility that Stone might be cleared of the two murders and her own attempted murder.

She said Josie had said: "Maybe I won't want to walk home alone."

The family liaison officer, who specialises in child abuse cases, has worked with Josie since the attacks five years ago.

She and her colleague Detective Constable Ed Tingley first interviewed her just two months afterwards.

Pc Pauline Smith
Pc Pauline Smith used a scale model to help Josie recall the attack
They used a scale model of the murder scene and a scrapbook to help Josie recall the dreadful events of that day.

"She tried very hard but it was often difficult for her to maintain concentration," said Pc Smith.

The officer has kept in close contact with Josie and her father Dr Shaun Russell, through Stone's first trial in 1998, and up until the present day.

Gradual recovery

And she has seen first hand Josie's recovery from the attack, which left her with massive head injuries and initially unable to speak.

She said that since then, Josie had developed into an independent 14-year-old.

"She has grown into a teenager with her own interests.

Josie Russell
Josie received an RSPCA award for helping rescue some animals
"She goes out after school with her friends, rides her pony, is interested in fashion, music and boys of her own ages.

"She does whatever other normal teenagers do."

But Josie has had many obstacles to overcome in her recovery.

In the aftermath of the attacks she suffered nightmares.

And she had to have a titanium plate fitted in her head.

She still has a special needs helper and is likely to have some form of permanent learning difficulties.

But she is already fluent in the Welsh language after she moved back to north Wales with her father.

Pc Smith also told how Josie and her father had helped each other to come to terms with their loss.

"Josie has a brilliant relationship with her dad, they are very close and they have each other.

"It has been five years but Lin and Megan are still talked about openly in the house.

"It helps keep their memories alive."

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