Gemma McCluskie: “First thing I think of when I wake up” is Gemma

15:46 30 January 2013

Gemma McCluskie’s brother Danny McCluskie has said his sister is “the first thing I think of when I wake up and the last thing on our minds as we try to sleep at night”.

The actress’s brother, whose other brother Tony was found guilty of Gemma’s murder, and his partner Shantelle Lucy spoke about Gemma’s death in a victim impact statement.

It said: “March 9 2012 is the day I was told that my sister Gemma was dead. When they broke the news to me I was completely heartbroken and could not believe what we were being told. Since Gemma’s death all of our lives have changed and I know things will never be the same again.

“Before this we were a happy family, we had just become new parents to a beautiful daughter and life was good. Now we are a family struggling to deal with this unimaginable nightmare. The whole thing at times does not seem real, we are still very much in shock and disbelief and unable really to come to terms with what has happened to Gemma.

“The different emotions you feel are draining and exhausting and at times consuming. Gemma is the first thing I think of when I wake up and the last thing on our minds as we try to sleep at night which is hard as you constantly have these images in your mind.

“The pain of losing Gemma is still very raw. She was 29 and in the prime of her life. She still had so much to look forward to. When I think of Gemma I think of how she loved life. Gemma was also a very charming girl and extremely generous, she was a ‘wind-up’ and a prankster who liked to torment you in a cheeky mischievous way.

“She had a loud infectious laugh and always thought she was very funny, but most of all she had a heart of gold and would do anything for you and I know she would always be there if I needed her.

“Our mother is completely inconsolable, she breaks down every day and tells me Gemma was her life and she doesn’t want to live anymore without her. I don’t know how to begin to make her feel better. I try to remind her that we love her and she needs to stay strong for her granddaughter.

“Gemma was thrilled to become an aunty and she loved our daughter from the very first time she held her. She spoiled her with love and so many gifts. Our daughter was only three months when we lost Gemma and we feel so sad that they will now never know each other. Gemma gave her a teddy bear when she was a few days old and inside the bear she recorded a beautiful loving message. We often play it to her and tell her it’s aunty Gem Gem. It’s upsetting to hear her voice, but comforting to have.

“We loved Gemma very much and will miss her always.

“We would like to thank John Nicholson and his police team for all their hard work, with a particular mention to Martin Worswick who is a really nice genuine man, who we always felt comfortable with.

“Thank you also to the dive team (Marine Policing Unit) who worked tirelessly to find Gemma so that we, as a family, could get the answers we needed as to how Gemma died. It enabled us to lay her to rest.”

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