The daughter of Hartlepool murder victim Norma Bell has urged people not to punish his children for their father’s crime.
Gareth Dack will spend a minimum of 33 years in prison for the killing of the 79-year-old widow after he was convicted of her murder by a jury at Teesside Crown Court.
The 33-year-old father-of-four strangled her in her home last April, then tried to set fire to the house to cover his tracks.
Sentencing him to a life term, Mrs Justice Whipple condemned Dack’s persistent refusal to explain what had happened in the final hours of Mrs Bell’s life.
“After arrest you refused to co-operate with the police, and your continued silence means Mrs Bell’s family do not know how she spent her last hours,” she said.
“That is terrible for them, and it is the last unkindness you do them.”
Now Mrs Bell’s daughter has used the Mail’s Facebook page to thank the people of Hartlepool for their support - and urge them to protect Dack’s children.
Sid Bell wrote: “The murder of Norma Bell has been widely publicised and Gareth Dack will be spending at least 33 years in prison.
“Norma Bell respected life and loved life, she was the happiest when she had children to care for.
“As her daughter I would like thank the people of Hartlepool for all the support I and my family have received over the last 10 months.
“Our life sentence began on 03.04.2016 and will last until we take our last breath. Gareth took away our rock and the glue that held us all together.
“We will never learn the truth. Gareth Dack will take what he did to her to his grave.
“I would like to urge the people of Hartlepool to respect my mam’s values of life, and children in particular, and let his children develop and grow in peace.
“If any parents have children who attend the same schools, please talk to your children and ask them to be vigilant against any form of bullying.
“His children need to be protected and allowed to grow and develop in peace. This would be my mam’s legacy, she would not like any repercussions against any member of his family.
“Gareth Dack did not think or care about what his actions would mean to his family and most of all his children.
“There are good and caring people in Hartlepool and in times of tragedy you have always been very supportive.