‘My heart is broken beyond repair’: Mum of murdered teenager speaks out

Tavis Spencer-Aitkens. Picture: Supplied by family

Tavis Spencer-Aitkens. Picture: Supplied by family - Credit: Archant

The parents of a murdered teenager have told a court of the devastating impact of their son’s death on their lives as five people - including a man from Barking - await sentencing for their part in the killing.

Five people found guilty of killing Tavis Spencer-Aitkens: Clockwise, from top left: Kyreis Davies,

Five people found guilty of killing Tavis Spencer-Aitkens: Clockwise, from top left: Kyreis Davies, Callum Plaats (convicted of manslaughter), Isaac Calver, Adebayo Amusa, Aristote Yenge. Picture: Suffolk Police - Credit: Suffolk Police

Adebayo Amusa, 23, of Sovereign Road, Barking, Aristote Yenge, 23, of Spring Road, Ipswich, Kyreis Davies, 17, of Turnstile Square, Colchester, and Isaac Calver, 18, of Firmin Close, Ipswich, were all convicted of murdering 17-year-old Tavis Spencer-Aitkens last month. Callum Plaats, of Ipswich, was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter.

Tavis’s mother Sharon Box, who wore a T-shirt with a picture of her son on it, looked directly at the defendants in the dock at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday (Monday) and said Tavis would haunt them for the rest of their lives.

Tavis’s father, Neville Aitkens, had to leave court half way though his statement and it was completed by prosecution barrister Oliver Glasgow QC.

In her statement Mrs Box described the “unbearable” pain she felt about her son’s death.

“There is no escape from it,” she said.

“My son died alone. I never had the chance to say goodbye. I never had the chance to tell him how much I love him. I never had the chance to comfort him as he slipped away.

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“I awake every morning and the first thought I have is how terrified Tavis must have been.

“The thought then stays with me all day every day and I awake at night thinking about it.

“My life is shattered and my heart is broken beyond repair. I am devastated and I will never feel the same again. My son is dead.

“Tavis deserved to live his life. He deserved to marry and become a father. Tavis was cruelly and unnecessarily taken from me by uncaring, wicked individuals.

“Their actions have robbed me of my precious son. Those who did this will never know how much I loved Tavis and still do. If they could truly understand that, they would never have hurt him.

“Since Tavis’s death we have had to go through Christmas, Tavis and his twin brother Tyler’s 18th birthday, Mothers’ Day and we now have to deal with being without him for all these significant family occasions for the rest of our lives.”

Mrs Box said that at the end of 2017 she took a second job to earn extra money to save for a special holiday to Jamaica for Tavis and Tyler to celebrate their 18th birthday.

“Tavis was really looking forward to it, now instead of taking him I am taking his ashes,” she said.

“I have had to attend court for 14 weeks and over that period of time listen in minute detail to the events that happened that day.

“I have had to sit and see images of the defendants going shopping, laughing and joking that evening knowing that Tavis was dead.

“My mental health has suffered as a result of the loss of Tavis. I have been unable to work since this happened which has meant our household has gone from a dual income to a sole income. This has had a massive impact in our family finances.

“What has happened to Tavis has not destroyed one person but my whole family. They did not just kill him that day but they have also killed me. I don’t know how I will get over the loss of my son.”

Mr Aitkens said his son’s death was the most painful thing that he and his partner Helen had ever had to deal with.

Looking across at the defendants sitting in the dock he said: “You’ve killed me.”

He said Tavis’s death had broken his heart and every day he looked out of his window to see a memorial tree for his son.

He also described the effect on his step-daughter Candice of trying to stop Tavis bleeding from his wounds with towels and trying to comfort him and keep him calm because he couldn’t breathe.

“He didn’t stand a chance because one or all of you stabbed him in the heart,” said Mr Aitkens.

“This was my son bleeding to death on my doorstep.”

Mr Aitkens said he never expected he would have to bury his son, who would now never have the chance to marry, have children or grow old because of the defendants’ actions.

He said that every parent wanted to be able to protect their children but he felt helpless because he hadn’t been able to do that.

The sentencing hearing continues today (Tuesday).