Page last updated at 16:42 GMT, Monday, 22 February 2010

Jamie Simpson's killing still 'resonates', says mother

Mr and Mrs Simpson
Mr and Mrs Simpson say they will never recover from the loss

The mother of murdered Matalan manager Jamie Simpson has described the "precious" memory of the last conversation she and her son shared.

Mr Simpson, 33, from Derby, was stabbed in March 2008 during a bungled robbery at his Matalan store in Hackney, east London.

On Monday Kobina Essel, 19, of east London, was found guilty of his murder at the Old Bailey. Simeon Jumah, Anthony Maina, and a 17-year-old youth, were convicted of manslaughter.

Jamie's parents, Lambert and Lorna Simpson told BBC London of the "free spirit" who was killed - and the shock of a death that "resonates right through you".

Mrs Simpson said: "The last time I talked to him we had a long conversation on the phone, for about an hour.

"He said, 'Mum, you taught me principles and values'.

"That is precious to me - because I never knew that was going to be the last time I spoke to him."

You never forget the knock on the door at that time
Lambert Simpson

She described her son as a "strong" person who "loved living" and "made friends wherever he went".

And she continued: "Every time I look at a photo of him at the age he died, it brings back all the pain and heartache.

"I try to view him as a child - when all the good things happened."

Jamie Simpson grew up in Derby before moving to London. He rose to become manager of the Matalan clothing store where he would eventually be killed.

The Old Bailey heard how a gang of seven tried to take the days takings from him as he cashed up.

Mr Simpson was only on duty that day because he had agreed to swap shifts with another employee.

Jamie Simpson
Jamie Simpson was described as a 'free spirit'

His father is still haunted by the memory of the police visiting to tell him his son had been killed.

He said: "You never forget the knock on the door at that time.

"You go to sleep - then at 3am you jump up. That knock is there."

He continued: "It has been two years, but it seems like yesterday. I have lost a son and a friend."

Mrs Simpson reflected: "For the 33 years he had on this earth he enjoyed life and we were proud of him."

She added: "It is a shock that resonates right through you."

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