The family of murdered Springbank war veteran Kenneth Handford have again spoken in court about the toll the death of their beloved father and grandfather has taken on their family and friends.
The statements were read during a plea hearing at a Supreme Court sitting at Ballarat for Adam Williamson, 40, who pleaded guilty to the murder and burglary of Mr Handford.
Mr Handford’s daughter Margaret Murray read victim impact statements from herself and family friend Anita Maher, who found Mr Handford’s body in the small cottage in Springbank.
Ms Murray spoke about how she is unable to recover from the death of her dearly beloved father and how she never expects to find closure.
“There has been little to no healing and the pain and unbearable grief has now found company with my anger,” she said in her statement.
“The memories I have for my father’s violent death will be with me until I take my final breath.”
Ms Maher’s statement, which was also read by Ms Murray, informed the court of how she found Mr Handford in the cottage he lived in on the Maher’s land.
“It has been two years since I found Ken murdered, lying on the floor in a pool of his own blood,” Ms Maher’s statement read.
“I am constantly reliving the phone calls I had to make to his family and I am still mortified.
“He was not just a neighbour to us, he was family, a grandfather figure in all our children’s lives.”
Ms Maher’s statement told of how the murder had hurt their businesses, making hiring farm hands almost impossible, as well as how it had changed the community at Springbank forever.
“Our once quiet and safe neighbourhood has never been the same,” her statement read.
“I don’t know how he (Williamson) can sleep at night.”
In her statement to the court, Ms Murray said her father meant the world to her and she wiould not relent in her fight to see her father’s killers face the full force of the law.
“I speak only for me when I say I am not a victim of this horrific and evil crime.”
“My father is the true victim here and I owe it to him to fight for justice.”
She also touched on how the only way she was able to get her perspective to be considered in the course of the case was through victim impact statements which she said were inadequate.
“I feel powerless and irrelevant just as my father felt powerless and irrelevant,” she said.
“I love you and I miss you Dad.”
Sentencing for Williamson has been adjourned until the outcome of the sentencing appeal for co-accused Jonathon Cooper is resolved.