[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 16 October 2006, 15:21 GMT 16:21 UK
Parents speak of 'agonising' wait
Gwen and Tom Geeling
Joe's parents paid tribute to their son in court
The parents of murdered schoolboy Joe Geeling have said waiting for the sentencing of his killer has been a "frustrating and agonising" time.

The 11-year-old was stabbed to death by Michael Hamer, then 14, who has been sentenced to life.

In court Joe's parents paid tribute to their son, saying he was a "smart, witty, loving young man".

Speaking outside court his father, Tom, asked for the family to be left alone to "get over this stage of the ordeal".

We cannot make any sense whatsoever out of Hamer's actions
Tom and Gwen Geeling, Joe's parents
He said: "It's taken an enormous amount of preparation for us to get to this point, and it has been a long frustrating agonising wait for all of us.

"Now a verdict has been reached, there's many questions that people would like us to answer, but we really do not feel like speaking out just yet.

"In order to avoid jeopardising the case, many of the details were not imparted to us until very recently.

"The family's been through an awful lot - and respectfully request that we be given a little bit of privacy and time to gather our thoughts, and just be allowed to get over this stage of the ordeal."

In court on Monday, a statement from Joe's parents was read out which said they had no choice but to stay strong for Joe's brother James, who has just turned seven.

11-year-old Joe Geeling
Joe was last seen making the short walk home from school
"We cannot make any sense whatsoever out of Hamer's actions.

"We feel he will leave us never knowing the truth about the many gaps in his version of events.

"This we find extremely difficult to come to terms with.

"My wife and I privately weep all the time. We weep about what we could, would and should be doing with Joe now.

"We cry whenever we reminisce over every little thing he has done or made in the past and the grief and the bitterness all comes back over and over and over.

"We each have some very bad days where you simply cannot function and you just can't explain to anyone what the problem is."

They said in the statement it is Joe's younger brother who has the worst to come, when he finds out the full truth about what happened.

"We just pray to God that as the years pass the pain may ease and the happy memories return," they said.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific