The family of Don Lock have released a statement after the man who stabbed him 39 times was found guilty of manslaughter.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Don Lock’s son Andrew Lock paid tribute to his dad, calling him ‘the glue that held the family together’.
Mr Lock’s killer, Matthew Daley, was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility at Lewes Crown Court today (May 16).
In a statement released by Sussex Police, Andrew Lock said: “Today’s manslaughter verdict brings to a close the most horrific 10 months of our lives and brings some sort of justice for dad, although very little comfort is taken from it.
“This verdict effectively provides the Daley family with what they have wanted for the last few years, their son in a safe place away from harm’s way and being treated correctly. For them they can still visit their son, hug him and talk to him and enjoy aspects of his life with him albeit constrained at the same time. For us all we can do is cling on to the wonderful memories of dad.
“As a consequence of the failings of the NHS and this verdict it is clear that dad would still be here today if they had done their job properly.
“Nothing we say or do now will bring dad back to us, but we will continue the spirit that dad carried with him, through the family, our friends and the many people with whom dad had had such an impact over the course of his life.
“It is clear now to all, that this incident confirms nothing more than that Dad was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“Dad would never hurt a fly, let alone another human being and having to re-live the nature and extent of dad’s injuries is something we would not wish on our worst enemy.
“It is upsetting to hear that the NHS has taken the trouble to write to the Daley family to apologise for their failings, yet we as a family have received nothing in writing ourselves.
“The family are deeply grateful to all those witnesses that gave statements, especially Abby and Jasmine Smith and Andrew Slater, who stood in the witness box and re-lived what they saw unfold in front of their eyes. Also, to the various people at the scene who tried in vain to help dad although we know now that it was almost certain one of the earliest wounds punctured his Aorta and from this point on he would have known very little. We hope that all of these wonderful people can try and move on in their lives as well now and not suffer any further in their thoughts.
“Dad has left huge holes to fill in both our family and in the cycling world too.
“Dad was the glue that held the family together and the oil that removed any friction at the same time. We all now have to find new ways to continue what dad created from when Sandra and I were first born to the day he died. A close family that had learnt respect, how to laugh, how to love and how to always be there for those that needed you most. As we have said before, he always knew the right thing to say at the right time, in the right way.
“In the cycling world, dad’s beloved Worthing Excelsior Cycling Club has had to come to terms with the loss too, many members missing his encouragement and support, the snippets of advice or even the holler from the side of the road encouraging the racing members to “get a move on” as he would often put it.
“In fact it was only a week or two before dad’s passing when after one of the previous club race meetings at Washington, when seeking out my time for the event, said to me, “that’s not a time, that’s a date”. Dad had the art of mixing humour and criticism in such a way that all it did was spur you on to do better.
“Our last thank-you’s must go to Sussex Police and specifically Paul Rymarz, Duncan Elliott and Barbara Douglas for all their hard work in securing this verdict but significantly Laura Carron, our Family Liaison Officer who has been an absolute rock for us and who now is having to deal with her own health issues. We wish you a speedy and full recovery Laura. We must also thank Phil Bennetts QC, who has understood the family from the beginning, listened to our thoughts and conducted the trial in impeccable fashion to secure this verdict.
“We shall leave you now to go and establish the new normal in our lives and continue dad’s wonderful spirit.
“Love you dad and Up the Albion.”
Following the manslaughter verdict, the head of the NHS trust that gives treatment to Matthew Daley has apologised to both families. Click here to read the interview.