PARENTS of a murdered young Flintshire mum have opened up about their ongoing struggle to deal with their loss.

This week marks one year since Russell Marsh of Chevrons Road, Shotton, received a life sentence for the murder of his estranged wife, 27-year-old Jade Ward.

A court heard Marsh entered her home in the early hours of the morning and subjected her to "a prolonged and cruel attack" by way of punishment for ending an "unequal and controlling relationship."

The Judge handed down a life sentence, setting a minimum of 25 years to be served before the defendant can be considered for parole.

Following the hearing, Jade's parents Paul Ward and Karen Robinson spoke of their heartbreak and gratitude to the community for its ongoing support.

The Leader: Jade WardJade Ward (Image: UGC)

The Leader caught up with them to find out how the last year - one filled with campaigning for a change in the law for killers and coming to terms with their tragic loss - has been.

Paul, 55, said: "It's been terrible, and it just keeps getting worse.

"I've tried to cut down going to the grave - I was going there two or three times a day, sometimes in the middle of the night - and it was just cracking me up.

"The other thing is how most of the time, people just avoid you.

"They don't know what to say to you, but I just say don't ignore me - it's worse when you do that. Speak your mind. I'd rather that.

"It's been about 18 months [since Jade's death] - it's killing us and I can't deal with it."

Karen, 52, said: "It's been up and down - mainly down.

"Jade missed two babies being born - her nieces - and she missed her best mate's wedding.

"Her headstone went up before Christmas; I don't go up there often and I have loads of guilt about it but honestly, I just can't. It kills me.

The Leader: Paul at his daughter's grave following the end of the court casePaul at his daughter's grave following the end of the court case (Image: Staff)

"Because in my head, she's just out and I'm still waiting for her to come home every single day.

"It's horrific. Some days it's just too much and I physically can't crawl out of bed.

"But other days I am skipping around like a little chicken.

"She's unbelievably missed, like you would not believe."

Speaking of the support from her community, she added: "They have still been amazing.

"When we last did a balloon release I didn't expect as many people to turn up, but oh my god; they were amazing.

"And Jade's little memorial spot by her bench, nothing's been broken or kicked.

"People have been so respectful."

The Leader: Karen Robinson delivers a statement outside Mold Crown Court. Image: Rick MatthewsKaren Robinson delivers a statement outside Mold Crown Court. Image: Rick Matthews (Image: Staff)

Both Paul and Karen said they don't feel they have had justice.

Karen said: "I never will have justice - even if he dies.

"He's sat in his cell having three meals a day, so no, there will never be justice."

Paul said: "No, even if he had a death sentence, like in America, we still haven't got Jade.

"We just have pictures of her - that's all we have now."

Karen urged anyone who may find themselves in a controlling or abusive relationship to seek help.

She added: "Get out as soon as you can; even if you have to do it while the abusive partner has gone shopping.

"We are just an ordinary family and we never, ever thought we would go through this.

"Please just get out and reach out for help."