Coping with Christmas after his son was murdered

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Christmas is not an easy time for everyone, including those who have lost a loved one. Gaynor Clarke speaks to one man who lost his treasured son about the challenges of the festive period.

While many families will gather round the telly to watch festive films, Ray Wilson will not even turn on his television on Christmas Day.

Ray Wilson at his home in Chorley

Ray Wilson at his home in Chorley

This time of year is particularly difficult for the 70-year-old, since the son he “worshipped” was murdered.

Adam, 25, died after being stabbed at a house in Lostock Hall in September last year by love rival Jason Taylor, who could not accept his relationship with mum-of-two Jodie Emery was over.

Taylor, of Westfield, Lostock Hall, was found guilty of murder and jailed for life, with a minimum term of 25 years.

Ray, who has since moved from Lostock Hall to Chorley, said: “I don’t do anything for Christmas. I don’t put the TV on because it will be about Christmas, I play CDs.

I don’t do anything for Christmas. I don’t put the TV on because it will be about Christmas

Ray Wilson

“I get Christmas Day out of the way and Boxing Day isn’t too bad, I go across the road to my local and then I’m okay.

“Forget New Year’s Eve. I don’t put the radio on because it’s New Year’s Eve, I put my CDs on.

“Then January 1, I think that’s it, it’s over, but then it’s January 7, his birthday, and it’s the worst day.”

Ray says he would stay at home on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve in case Adam ever needed him, and he will not be joining celebrations this year either.

Murder victim, Adam Wilson

Murder victim, Adam Wilson

“Last Christmas I sat here,” he said, from his Chorley home.

“People say to me now, have I done my Christmas shopping, but I don’t have to do Christmas shopping...”

Adam was born in Nottingham and moved to live with his dad when he was around 10 years old.

Ray would put the presents around the Christmas tree but they would get ripped - with Adam blaming their dog.

Ray, who used to run the Clayton Brook pub, says he and Adam were “very, very, very close”.

He said: “I worshipped him. In his own little way he worshipped me. People used to say to me, ‘Are you joined at the hip?’

“At 25 years of age he still hugged me and kissed me.”

Now rather than looking at festive decorations, Ray focuses on the mementoes on his fireplace that remind him of his son.

They include photographs of Adam, a bottle of his favourite drink Jack Daniels with a glass, a candle that he lights on Adam’s birthday and a box containing some of his ashes.

Taylor was convicted of Adam’s murder earlier this year after a trial at Preston Crown Court.

Taylor could not accept his relationship with Jodie was over, and in a fit of jealous obsession, broke into her house armed with a knife he had bought on their family trip to Scarborough.

On discovering Adam was spending the evening with Jodie, Taylor stabbed him several times to his legs and back while the two children slept upstairs.

Judge Anthony Russell QC, sentencing, said: “This was a particularly shocking murder because of the fact Mr Wilson was unknown to you. There was no history of any ill feeling between you both and it was pure chance he happened to be the person upon whom you vented your rage because you were unable to accept that your relationship with Jodie Emery was finished.”

Preston, Central and East Lancshire provide support for bereaved people. They can be contacted on 01772 433645 or see www.cruse.org.uk