Parents' tribute to Janelle Duncan-Bailey ahead of Jerome McDonald's manslaughter sentencing
The parents of Janelle Duncan-Bailey who was killed during a row with her ex-boyfriend about child support, has spoken of the "evil and horrendous crime" in which they lost their daughter.
It comes ahead of her killer's sentencing for manslaughter, which takes place at the Old Bailey later today, after Jerome McDonald's conviction for manslaughter yesterday,
Anne Bailey and Richard Duncan said they are completely devastated by the loss of their daughter, describing the 25-year-old as "our angel."
Ms Bailey said: "She was beautiful, bright, bubbly caring and a shining star and we wish to pay tribute to her.
"No emotion or words said or written will ever be able to describe fully the anguish and devastation we feel about what happened to her on that dreadful day.
"The start of 2013 should have been like any other new year, Janelle doting on her two boys, going out with her friends and enjoying herself, partying and looking forward to a great year, a year full of expectation and promise.
"The cowardly, pointless and ruthless actions of Jerome McDonald deprived has robbed Janelle of a future; a bright future, one where she could have gone on to watch her two beautiful sons grow up into fine young men and perhaps one day have children of their own.
"The shadow cast by our daughter's brutal death is unimaginably huge. To have her taken away of us in the most dreadful of circumstances will haunt me and my family for the rest of our lives.
"Our daughter was a big ball of positive energy, mischievous, rebellious and stubborn at times, yes, but she was still an entertainingly infectious person to be around. Everyone she came into contact with loved her.
"She was always at her happiest when she was trying to help other people. Coming to terms with her death we sense is likely to be a lifelong project, not just for us but for the rest of our family and friends too. For me personally it is like walking down a dark alleyway that has no light at the end of it.
"Janelle was my first child and she was a happy and lovely girl. She would also turn out to be a brilliant mother to her children and a loving sister to her siblings.
"She was always so full of life and surprises. You could just tell from an early age that she was going to turn out to be a gorgeous woman as she was such a playful little girl with a lovely big smile.
"My daughter thoroughly enjoyed her education and schooling at Ashburton High School, where she excelled in a number of subjects. Janelle loved working with and helping people less fortunate than herself. Her aim in life was to make things better and nicer for people. She was never satisfied; she always thought she could do more which was both a strength and a weakness in her life.
"Janelle was a very creative girl and she was always coming up with bright ideas. In essence not only did she turn her own life around but she relished in helping others to do the same.
"She had a certain flamboyance and quick-wittedness about her. She was funny; and left you laughing at her antics. She was instantly likeable to all those who knew her. She was always considerate and polite to others.
"She left a massive impact and impression on everyone that she befriended or helped, she was that sort of girl. Yes of course she had her faults and flaws, who doesn't, but her huge personality far outshone any imperfections she may have had.
"Janelle liked music and she enjoyed going out clubbing and dancing. She was also keen on travelling. It has to be said though that her main focus in life was caring for her two sons, she adored them like you would never know. Now the boys will somehow have to come to terms with not having their mummy around.
"Janelle grew up and lived in south London and she was only too aware of the dangers that lurked out there, she was streetwise we are sure of that, but she did not see this coming, how could she. She must have been so defenceless and so frightened. Why did she have to die in such horrific circumstances?
"We did not get the chance to give her one last hug, one final kiss or the chance to tell her that we loved her or to say goodbye to her. People talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time, we don't agree with that. Jerome we ask you this, why, why did you have to take Janelle's life and devastate ours?
"Although our pain at this time is still raw and overwhelming our memories of Janelle will be of huge comfort to us in the coming months and years and she will always be in our thoughts and in the constant darkness that surrounds us."
Speaking directly to McDonald, Ms Bailey said: "I would now like to add the following, really to just let you Jerome see what effect Janelle's death has had on me. The events of that traumatic day have left me feeing anxious and depressed.
"I worry when the children go out in the evening. I keep thinking what if something happens to them. What right does Jerome have for making me feel the way I do? My life has changed forever, where is the pleasure now?
"That morning when the police came to my house and DCI King broke the news to me that Janelle was dead I remember stumbling around and grabbing hold of the officer. I recall having difficulty breathing, being in a state of hysteria and somehow I feel I am still there, trying to make sense of it all.
"I stay awake at night thinking to myself what if and what only. I struggle to focus and concentrate on my day, but I know somehow I have got to stay as strong as I can for the boys and the rest of the family.
"I get annoyed with people close to me and think to myself why should I have to take my frustration out on them? Despite my large circle of family and friends sometimes I feel very isolated. I know in my heart of hearts that Janelle never gave Jerome any reason to strangle her.
"Months on from the heinous attack on my daughter I refuse to let Jerome's actions destroy me completely. I hope in years to come when Jerome reflects on his actions he somehow finds the time to feel sorrow for what he did to Janelle and somehow shows remorse. The arrogance he has displayed to date means I don't hold out much hope of that happening.
"Janelle's death has left me and my family feeling cheated and robbed. My heart is heavy; however I will not let it be broken. Janelle was so full of life and now all we have is a headstone, a memorial to a short lived life. No parent should have to bury their daughter in this way.
"Thank you Janelle, I will miss you, your dad will miss you, and we will all miss you. We love you."
- Coulsdon drama teacher is voice of new Harry Potter character
- Interview: Rough Copy dream of Croydon homecoming gig and life after X-Factor
- Driver arrested over 78-year-old's crash death
- Tell council to clear flytipping and fix potholes with smartphone app
- Primary school spaces demand leaves dozens without a place
Comments are closed on this article.