‘Our home feels very empty.’
Those were the heart-rending words of the family of Katie Rough today (Friday).
They issued a statement after seven-year-old Katie’s killer was sentenced to life at Leeds Crown Court for her manslaughter.
“Today is the end of a process, and that is a relief, but it is not the end of our story,” said the statement from parents Paul and Alison Rough and the wider family.
“Our story is about a loving home and family that was torn apart on a day when we lost our daughter.
“Our story goes on into a future where our home feels very empty, but we will keep going for sake of our other children and our grandson.”
Katie died after being smothered and slashed with a Stanley knife in a playing field near Alness Drive in Woodthorpe, York, in January.
The family also said thank you to the people of York for their support.
“We are so grateful for everyone who has helped us in these last months, including the whole community in York, who have been so generous with their kindness, their time and their money.
“We’re especially thankful for the support of our closest family and friends – you know who you are.
“We’re very grateful as well to the many well-wishers who sponsored Paul and the other members of ‘Team Rough’ in the Great North Run in September.
“They have helped pay tribute to Katie’s memory by providing ten years’ worth of education and welfare for Pross and King, two Ugandan children of about her age.”
‘Loving and safe home’
“Our hopes for the future are for a loving and safe home for the rest of our family, and we hope we will now find the privacy for that to happen.
“Katie’s memory will live on in our hearts but also more widely, as a little girl who brought more colour to her world.”
They said people will find Katie’s memory in the flowers around the bench dedicated to her in Museum Gardens in York in the sculpture being made for Moorlands Nature Reserve, as well as in Pross and King’s future.
“And above all in the strong community that has been such a support for us this year,” her family said.