THE devastated parents of Mark Denton described the guilty verdict as “justice”.
Brian and Ann Denton have sat through the whole trial from the start, hearing all of the evidence from the horror that unfolded at the Hutton Avenue house party on New Year’s Eve.
In a statement released by Cleveland Police moments after the jury found David Sowerby and Anthony Middleton guilty of Mark’s murder, Mr and Mrs Denton said: “The result today is not going to bring Mark back, but it is some justice for him, which is what we wanted.
“Mark was a big softy deep down, he was very protective and a good lad at heart, he would have helped anyone.
“He was so lively and everyone misses him terribly. Mark used to cook for us every night; we would call him ‘masterchef’ and see his trails of food everywhere.
“The house is so quiet without him; we go to the grave every day and can’t believe he is there.
“We wake up on a morning thinking we have had the worst nightmare possible, until we realise that it’s actually real and Mark is gone.
“They have not only killed Mark, but killed us both inside – we are heartbroken and are really struggling to come to terms with what has happened.
“Our other son Craig is taking the death of his brother extremely hard, they were so close and he just wishes he had been there to help him.
“His death has made a huge dent in the community because he was so well thought of, and we have had a lot of kind words and help from people.
“It was really kind of everyone who made a donation to Mark’s funeral; Craig’s wife Donna organised the service for us, she was there every day. We don’t know what we would have done without her.
“Our heads were gone and Sarah, Mark’s girlfriend sat with us, we laughed at things Mark would do and we cried together.
“We hope in time she will get strong again and try to start a new life. Once again thank you all for your kindness, we love you Mark so much – until we meet again.
“The process of going to trial has been very difficult but we would like to thank the police for their hard work and to victim support for their help.”