THE family of Rita Wharton said they have finally found some closure following Tuesday’s verdict.
She was a housekeeper at the Hand and Diamond near Crew Green, and despite her age, she lived life like a woman in her 50s, the court heard.
A family statement said: “It has been an emotional past eight months and the family are able to finally put some closure after today’s verdict.
“The family would like to thank the emergency services and members of public who tried to help Rita at the scene, and for their support. Rita will always be in our hearts and missed by so many.”
Her daughter Diane Dunderdale told in a statement how they worked together. Finishing work that day she told her mother “see you tomorrow” but within an hour she was dead.
She said her mother always looked smart, modern and took a pride in her appearance.
Mrs Dunderdale told how she missed going to the cemetery with her because her father and daughter were next to each other. Her mother had helped her so much when her daughter, Joanne, died suddenly.
“My mother was my best friend and my rock,” she said.
Son Mark Wharton told how he had been in the armed forces and did two tours of Afghanistan, but the impact of the death of his mother was more than anything caused by his service overseas.
He said she was fit, healthy and independent and they all expected her to live a long time, adding she was the lynch pin of the family.
Son Ian Wharton said he had lost his best friend, adding a nephew’s wedding in Turkey in July was not the same without her. They took a photograph of her and placed it where she would have sat.
Daughter-in-law Rashmita Wharton, a local police officer, read her own statement to the court and said that she was like a mother to her. She was her rock and inspiration.
It was a close family and the head of the family had been taken away, she explained.
Granddaughter Michelle Jacobson, who lives in the United States, said that she had suffered the loss of her twin sister and suffered disbelief and pain at the death of her grandmother.
“She was not ready to go. She should not have gone that day and not like that,” she said.