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Simon Parks, aged 52, of Newport was sentenced today, Thursday 17 November, at Newport Crown Court after pleading guilty to murder in October.
Parks murdered Mari O’Flynn, aged 79, at her home in Bettws, Newport, on Tuesday 24 May.
Her family have issued this statement following sentencing:
"Our mam was taken away from us in terrible circumstances, but we hope that today enables us to move forward as a family, hopefully with some closure. It's now time for us to grieve in private and try to move on with our lives.
"We will always try to remember mam for her sparkle, repeating her funny stories about the good times she had living in Greece, or hogging the TV to watch all the sport, whilst drinking endless cups of tea.
"Today, and the last six months have been harrowing, and there is some peace knowing the man responsible is behind bars.
"On behalf of Mari O'Flynn, our loving mother, sister, grandmother, and great grandmother, we would like to take this opportunity to thank the police, detectives, barristers and CPS for all their hard work and support over the last six months since our mam was brutally murdered at home.
“In particular, we would like to thank the family liaison officers who have a very difficult job but have been so supportive to the family during this time.
"Thanks again to all those that have supported us, those here today, family, employers and friends."
Detective Chief Superintendent Leanne Brustad, the senior investigation officer in the case, said:
“Our thoughts today are very much with the family of Mari O’Flynn who have lost a beloved mother, nan and sister.
“I would like to pay tribute to the family for the incredible strength they have shown throughout this undoubtedly difficult process.
“I know today’s sentencing will never bring Mari back, however I hope this outcome brings some consolation and closure for them.
“I hope they will now be given privacy and the opportunity to move forward with their lives.”
He will serve a minimum term of 24 years in prison.