Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Anger of All the Families; I'm Not Sorry He's Gone but It Brings It All Back and Stirs It All Up Again

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Anger of All the Families; I'm Not Sorry He's Gone but It Brings It All Back and Stirs It All Up Again

Article excerpt

Byline: VALENTINE LOW

THE ANGER today is as strong as ever.

Four years after Shipman was convicted of murder, the families of his victims still feel a raw bitterness towards the man they once gave their unqualified trust.

Kathleen Wood, whose 83-year-old mother Bessie Baddeley died in 1997, said: "I am not sorry he has gone, but it brings it all back and it stirs it all up for us again.

"I just wish he had been forthcoming and admitted he had done those things - it would have put a lot of people's minds at rest. He won't be missed. I have got friends whose relatives were in the same position as my mother and they are not sorry either."

That anger, however, was tempered with the stark realisation that with Shipman's death the families have lost the last hope they had of getting the answers they so desperately need.

Ann Alexander, the solicitor who represents 200 relatives of the victims, said: "Many had hoped that one day Harold Shipman would have answered many of the questions that they have surrounding

their relative's death, in particular why he committed these terrible crimes."

She added: "The families with whom we have spoken this morning are extremely distressed at this news. They will require a great deal of support over the coming days, weeks and months."

Jayne Gaskill, whose mother Bertha Moss, 68, was identified by the inquiry as one of Shipman's victims, burst into tears on hearing the news. "I don't know why, because I am not bothered he is dead. I am in sheer shock," she said. Mother of two Mrs Gaskill, 44, added: "He has won again. He has taken the easy way out. He has controlled us all the way through and he has controlled the last step and I hate him for it." Jane Ashton-Hibbert, who lost her grandmother Hilda Hibbert, 81, said she was surprised that a category A prisoner like Shipman was not monitored more carefully.

She said: "I am a bit shocked but I suppose really you could say I was angry he has chosen the easy way out instead of admitting his guilt and showing some compassion to his victims. I suppose it closes the door on the fact that he has never shown any compassion. …

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