THE parents of a murdered amateur boxer have spoken of how they went numb after hearing about his death – a year ago to the day today.
On the eve of the gruesome killing of their beloved son Craig, David and Edna Maddocks said it has been the hardest year of their lives.
Craig, 34, was the victim of a frenzied knife attack on June 26, 2013, in a toilet cubicle at the Cambrian Vaults pub in Wrexham. He was stabbed 52 times with a flick knife.
On Friday, Craig’s killer Francesco John Prevete, 46, was told he will have to serve at least 23 years behind bars. Mr Justice Jeremy Baker, sentencing Prevete, described it as “a brutal and ferocious” attack.
In their first media interview since their son’s death, Mr and Mrs Maddocks, of First Avenue, Llay, said not a day passes them by without thinking about their son.
The family will mark the first anniversary of Craig’s death by letting off balloons at Llay Cemetery where he is buried. They will then lay flowers at his grave.
Craig, a father-of-three, lived in Llay all his life and leaves behind children Chloe, 13, Lois, eight, and Miles, four, along with sister Lisa, 34, and brother Daniel, 30.
Speaking of the moment she found out about Craig’s death, Mrs Maddocks, 57, said: “It was 4am and there was a knock on the door.
“I was convinced it must be David and I thought I could hear Craig breathing upstairs.
“When I answered it was police officers and when they told me, I didn’t want to believe them. You never expect to hear those words.
“I went numb.”
She added: “The hardest part was telling the rest of the family and Craig’s children. It’s just been the hardest year of our lives. Not a day goes by we don’t think of him.”
Craig’s father David, 59, said his son was “the most popular lad you would meet”.
“He was such a people person, you couldn’t walk down the street without someone asking about him,” he said.
“He was such a funny lad and would always brigthen up a room. He’d never let anyone struggle.
“He lived for his kids.
“He called Miles, his youngest, his little bubble. He wanted to bring him up to be a boxer like his dad.
“Two weeks after Craig died, I took Miles into the campervan we have. I asked him where he wanted to go and he replied ‘I want to go to heaven to see daddy’.
“When you hear kids say things like that, it’s hard to know what to say.”
Prevete, of Weale Court, Wrexham, was known to Craig as he was a former partner of Mr Prevete’s niece.
At trial, Prevete’s claim that a third party was responsible for the killing was rejected by the jury and the judge said he was satisfied Prevete knew what he was doing and was not acting after an epileptic fit.
The prosecution argued Prevete’s action amounted to “sadistic conduct”.
Speaking about the sentencing, Mr Maddocks said: “We’ll never get closure. However long he stays in prison, it’ll never be enough.
“What he did was barbaric.”
Mrs Maddocks thanked the community for the send off they gave Craig as hundereds lined the streets for his funeral.
“We expected a lot of people but we were overwhelmed by the support for Craig,” she said.
Craig’s sister Lisa said: “It was one of the toughest days but we were astonished by the turnout. It shows how well-loved he was.”
Craig was an industrial cleaner and had been working at Kellogg’s on Wrexham Industrial Estate for two years.
His family have built a memorial to Craig in their back garden, of which Mrs Maddocks said: “It’s somewhere to go and remember our son, somewhere quiet we can go and think about him.”