Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Mother Speaks

The mother of murdered Bath shop worker Ben Foster paid tribute to her “much loved and treasured” son after his killers were jailed on Monday.
Clare Wallace, whose son was stabbed to death in Ringswell Gardens, told how her son’s “willingness to do things for others without considering the risk” had led to the tragedy.

"In his 23 years Ben had grown into a loving and principled young man, protective of his family and friends.
He had decided several years earlier that his life would be better without alcohol and drugs and other stimulants. He had stuck to his resolve and did not judge others for their lifestyle choices.
His willingness to do things for others without considering the risk put him in Ringswell Gardens that fateful Sunday.
As a family we have to live with the dreadful consequences of that day.
I can only hope that other young people realise they are not invincible.
Ben was not perfect but believed in the innate goodness of people and could calm every situation with his gentle approach.
Now he has been deprived of the future that was his right and I would not wish that any family would have to go through the pain and devastation which we have experiences since his death.
I once believed the world was beautiful, just and perfect. This belief has now been shattered.
We would like to thank the police for handling the investigation so professionally and for their support, kindness and guidance.
It was only right that John Claydon and Kieran Thomas should be deprived of their liberty. However our lives will be without our much loved and treasured Ben, and no sentence will ever bring him back to us.”

Monday, March 09, 2009

Ben Foster, my late nephew

On March 9th 2009 a judge at Bristol Crown Court heard how John Claydon fatally stabbed Ben Foster in Bath last year.
The 28-year-old defendant, of Surbine Road, Battersea, pleaded guilty to a charge of murder and was told he would serve at least 20 years behind bars before the Parole Board considers his release.
Kieran Thomas, 29, of Corbet Close, Wallington, Surrey, pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter and was jailed for 10 years.He will serve half the term in custody before he is released on licence.
Jailing Claydon, Mr Justice Field told him: “For the offence of murder there’s only one sentence and that’s a life sentence.“You stabbed Benjamin Foster with a long bladed knife in circumstances where he was completely defenceless..
“Nothing I can say will bring any comfort to Benjamin’s family. He was a young man with his whole life ahead of him.”
Ben was described by friends as “the most gentle person you could meet”.
One of three brothers, he grew up in Batheaston and was educated at Ralph Allen School.
At the time of his death he had been working at the Threshers off-licence in Fairfield Park and as a part-time labourer/bricklayer to pay for the flat he was renting.
He had hundreds of friends in the local area and further afield after spending time travelling in Thailand and New Zealand.
He was a keen basketball player and also practised tai chi.