'Sarmad was the light and soul of our house. Nothing will ever be the same again': Family pay heartfelt tributes to Preston teen stabbed to death
In an emotional day of sentencing at Preston Crown Court yesterday, statements were read out by the close family of Sarmad, the 16-year-old stabbed to death in December of last year.
The teenager lost his life just days after Christmas last year, December 27, after being brutally attacked at a friend's house by two teenagers wearing balaclavas.
It was sentencing day at court yesterday, where 19-year-old Jamie Dixon and 17-year-old Lemar Forbes, who can now be identified, were sent behind bars for murder.
Dixon was given life with a minimum term of 19 years, with Forbes being locked away for a minimum of 15 years for their crimes.
And after being found guilty for conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm (GBH), Assad Hussain, also 17, was given a five-year sentence.
DCI Lee Wilson, of Lancashire Police’s Force Major Investigation Team read out a public statement on behalf of the family yesterday, which can be seen in the report above.
Sarmad's family sat in the public gallery throughout the sentencing yesterday, and had separate emotional statements read aloud to the court on their behalf by Nicholas Clarke CQ, prosecuting.
In a written statement, his father Ahmed said: "It is impossible to say how I feel about what has happened. There are no words I can use to express what we have been through or the gap that has been left in our lives.
"This loss has had a huge impact on us. He was full of life, excited and happy.
"He was making plans for his future and what he wanted to do. He was always so happy and positive. He never acted like he had any problems in his life.
"He was a bright light in our lives and at home and now that has gone. I get no pleasure from my life anymore. He was taken from me at a time he was growing as a man.
"My heart and thoughts are always with Sarmad. I feel guilty for this as my other boys are not getting the attention they need.
"The boys responsible for this will never understand the impact. I want to ask those boys if they feel what they did was worth it.
"They have ruined our lives and also their own. Nothing will ever be the same again."
His mum Nadia, said: "I feel like I have a hole in my heart. My life doesn't feel like it used to do.
"My brain won't switch off from thinking about what happened. It was so violent and the boys showed no mercy.
"These were people he had called friends.
"I now worry about my two younger sons. I worry about where they are all the time. I am so worried about them and my boys getting seriously hurt.
"We are completely lost without him. I still get very upset about all the milestones we will now miss.
"I punish myself still for not being able to know this was going to happen. We spoke just minutes before he was attacked."
One of his younger brothers said: "Sarmad was the light and life of the house. He cracked a smile even on the hardest of days of the week.
"He was a boy who did nothing but dream of his future. He was someone I could always rely on.
"My most happiest memories were on holidays as a family. What I would do to bring these days back and have one more conversation with you.
"I would have never expected you to depart from us so early in our lives. You will now never get to see me grow up.
"I hope to be the role model you were. I will never forget what you did for all of us. Guide me and keep me safe until we meet again."