The widow of Anthony Joyce, Margaret, has released the following tribute following the sentencing of John Joyce for manslaughter at Oxford Crown Court on Friday (27/11).
“I genuinely cannot find the words to even try and get people to understand how myself and our daughter’s lives have truly changed for the worst.
“I was 17-years-old and Anthony was 19 when we got married, and even though it was a young age, we knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.
“Even though that may seem strange because we were only kids, we just knew.
“On 6 October just gone, we would have celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary. That was one of the hardest days I have had to endure, because instead of going out for a meal together, I had to go to a grave and wish him a Happy Anniversary and tell him how much I love him and miss him.
“I know I will have to do that for the rest of my days.
“Anthony and I had our ups and downs, like every marriage, and nobody is perfect, but he did not deserve what happened to him.
Margaret and Anthony Joyce with their daughter
“We did not have any children of our own, but in 2016, we moved to Ireland and adopted a beautiful little girl at two weeks old.
“Marykate brought us so much happiness and joy into our lives, it’s impossible to put into words.
“Anthony chose her name after our blessed lady for her to always have protection wherever she may go.
“We shared just a year and half as a mummy and daddy before Anthony’s life was so cruelly taken away for no reason whatsoever.
“She still calls for him and when she sees pictures she calls for daddy. It tears my heart to bits knowing that she will never have the privilege of knowing him and will never have the feeling of being daddy’s little girl.
“It was Anthony’s proudest day when Marykate was christened.
“Anthony will never get the chance to see her make her first holy communion or confirmation. He will never spend another birthday with her, he will never be able to comfort her if she falls or has sleepless nights because of monsters under her bed.
“Anthony will never hold her or mend her broken heart. He will never be able to cuddle her or tell her he loves her. He will never be able to walk her down the aisle and give her away to spend the rest of her life with a man she loves. He will never see her become a young woman and hopefully one day a mother herself.
“All I can do now is bring Marykate to see her daddy, who was only 33, to a headstone, to a patch of grass on the ground.
“Anthony was and is my soulmate, we loved each other so very much. He could be loud at times, but he truly had a heart of gold and never held a grudge against anybody.
“I have an ache in my heart that will not go away, longing for my husband, Anthony.
“I long to just see his face one more time, have one more conversation with him, tell him how much me and Marykate love him. He was my life, and he was and always will be my everything.”