Page last updated at 08:07 GMT, Friday, 20 March 2009

Family pain over quashed verdict

Teresa De Simone
Teresa De Simone had been raped and strangled

The parents of a murdered woman say the "worst thing is not knowing who her killer is" after the conviction of the man accused of the killing was quashed.

Sean Hodgson spent 27 years in jail for the killing of Teresa De Simone, 22, in Southampton in 1979 but the Court of Appeal ruled the conviction unsafe.

Her parents say they have "no feelings" towards Mr Hodgson and "nothing will bring their daughter back".

Police have reopened the case but are not "underestimating the challenges".

Family 'empty'

In a statement Mary and Michael Sedotti, parents of Miss De Simone, said: "Teresa was our future. She was our only child and we feel empty.

"There are always times when we come across things that remind us of her.

"She was a shy girl, we called her Terri.

"We don't have any feelings towards Sean Hodgson and nothing will bring our daughter back.

Sean Hodgson (L) is supported by his brother Peter Hodgson on the steps of the High Court after being released
Mr Hodgson said he felt "ecstatic" to be a free man again

"Now we know he [Hodgson] wasn't responsible for Teresa's death, but at the time his confession stopped the police finding the person who was responsible.

"The worst part for us is not knowing who her killer is.

"The police have DNA and it's very hard after 30 years, but we have faith that they will work to try and find the answer."

Mr Hodgson, now 57, was released after DNA found at the scene of the murder was re-examined and proved not to be his.

Police said they will look through original paperwork from the case, trace and re-interview people who were spoken to at the time.

Det Ch Insp Phil McTavish, senior investigating officer, said: "We have reopened the investigation into the murder of Teresa De Simone and will pursue the enquiry with all the resources that are available to us.

"If we can find the person responsible we will, but I do not underestimate the challenges for us in gathering evidence from a murder which happened nearly 30 years ago.

"We do have a full DNA profile and the benefit of modern science to help us."

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