Helen Joy’s children have today, Thursday 14 October, issued the following statements following the death of their mum and the conviction of her partner Kevin Ashton for her murder.
Helen’s youngest daughter, Caisey Hyland, 21, said, “Life before Kevin Ashton was perfect, perfect as in my mum was a mum, she was the type of mum who would be there for you, joke around with you, watch you play Xbox when she had nothing else to do in her spare time, my meaning by this, she always loved to be in the company of her children.
“My mum wasn’t a perfect mum but she was the type of mum that would make every effort to make you happy whenever you needed to cheer up. She would make every effort to buy what ever you wanted for Christmas and birthdays because she was the mum that would make ends meet to make you happy.
“I remember the time when my mum and myself at 10 years old travelled to Yorkshire to visit a family friend whose daughter was my best friend in primary school, and we spent two weeks there for Christmas. My mum then wasn’t too happy to go out in the cold because it was heavy snow and she really didn’t want to to go out but she came out to help me try and attempt to build an igloo but it never worked, she helped me build a snowman instead and she was happy. I knew she loved every moment of those two weeks with me, my best friend and my mum.
“My mum was a healthy, gorgeous, well built woman who made big dinners for her children and she would also have big dinners herself. She was a perfect woman who never needed any man’s opinion on what she should look like because my mum was independent and made her looks her own, she dressed well, her make up was how she loved it, it never changed throughout the years.
“My mum wasn’t an alcoholic, she never drank into the early hours of the morning and she never ever drank cider until the day she met that man Kevin Ashton.
“I’m not saying she changed in a matter of seconds, it was in a matter of months I started to notice changes in her life style, her attitude towards her children and how she drank. My mum wasn’t the mum I knew anymore. She argued more with her children, didn’t care as much for her children anymore and her lifestyle wasn’t the same.
“I was 11 years old when I witnessed the man who changed my mother’s life into a complete wreck. I witnessed that man who abused my mum everyday for no reason and that’s when I knew my mum wasn’t there anymore, my mum wasn’t the mum who was that fun-loving mum anymore. She was scared, frightened and also scared to be on her own unless I was there.
“My mum never pushed her children anyway because she wanted to, it was because the man over there simply brainwashed my mother into causing arguments with her children for no reason, and that man Kevin Ashton was loving every single minute of it.
“He knew what he was doing, hence he had my mum wrapped around his finger and that day forward he knew how to control my mum, knew how to manipulate her.
“The mum I knew as a child, the mum who would make every effort for you, the mum who would watch you play Xbox and watch you game in her spare time, the woman who loved the company of her own children, was simply taken away by the control he had over her which now is man who took her life away from us.
“I loved my mum everyday, I loved everything about her, I loved her for who she was which was a loving caring mum.”
Helen’s son Jack Tempest, 26, said, “Our family was strong like any other family, filled with joy and happiness, but as soon as Kevin came on to the scene everything then started to take a turn for the worse. I noticed that my mum seemed to be more manipulated by him, her whole behaviour changed when he was around.
“Before my mum met Kevin she wasn’t alcohol dependent however as soon as he was around her, her alcohol intake increased more and more to the point that it got harder and harder to see as I was still only about 14/15-ish, especially when I had a younger sister (Caisey) who was easily still in primary school and seeing what she was going through.
“Jumping to recent years I gave my mum two ultimatums, the first one was on my own. I’d asked her it’s him or your children because we were starting to feel pushed away, the second was with my older sister (Leanne) we asked her again but again she didn’t take any notice, so I left and moved in with my dad.
“Upon hearing that my younger sister (Caisey) had been taken into care made everything much harder and made what we were going through real. After all these years and also what we’re going through now I’m feeling heartbroken because of what I have seen and went through at such a young age, no young child should ever go through what I have seen, feeling like I’ve lost a part of me because I don’t ever wish to ever go through this ever again, our family had been torn apart.
“The little closure that I have had was back in March at her funeral even though it was the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. I’m really heartbroken that our beautiful mum has been taken away from us, our mum has been robbed of her life, she would still be here now if THAT wasn’t in her life!!”
Helen’s eldest daughter Leanne Hyland, 37, said, “My mum was a fun-loving caring mum, she got on with everyone including neighbours. My mum was healthy and always looked good. Mum did like to have a drink but she was not an alcoholic not in the slightest, it was just a few glasses each night.
“When Kevin came onto the scene I did not take a liking to him as I didn’t like his vibe. A few weeks passed into their relationship and I could see mum drinking more and more each day.
“A few incidents happened and we went to see mum and told her that he was no good for her and that one day she could lose her kids over him, mum just said I know, I’m sorry OK.
“Kevin was off the scene for a few days and I could see a difference in our mum being her usual self again and this made us all happy. Kevin would come back on the scene and it was back to rock bottom again. I noticed mum would be drinking more and more and argue with us for no apparent reason which made me think why is he manipulating you, brainwashing you so he could have mum to himself.
“Mum would argue more and more with us and Kevin would just sit there and I knew straight away Kevin just wanted mum and no one else. To me it felt like I was losing my mum, my best friend because of him. I did give my mum an ultimatum saying mum your changing and it’s not good on you or your kids so it’s either us or him and she would reply I know, I’m sorry but Kevin would still manipulate mum.
“On February 1st I received a phone call from my auntie saying that I needed to come to Leasowe straight away as police were going into mum’s flat.
“I knew straight away that something bad had happened so I got a taxi down. I saw the police and I knew in my body that it was bad. A police woman took me into a car and told me that my mum was dead. My life crumbled into a million pieces, my mum was gone.
“A few days, weeks, months have passed and I am still broken knowing the mum she was before Kevin came on the scene and he has now took our mum away from us and that we will never get the chance to see or talk to her ever again. I AM BROKEN.”
Domestic abuse is never acceptable but help and support is available.
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