The family of Megan Newborough described her as a "deeply caring" person as her killer was sentenced
The family of Megan Newborough, the 23-year-old from Nuneaton murdered by a work colleague, have spoken out after he was sentenced to life in prison and ordered to serve a minimum of 23 years.
"She was lovely, inside and out," said her mother Elaine in an interview with ITV News.
"Such a lovely, deeply caring, loving, open, person. Full of integrity, honesty - she just had an openness," she said.
"She was like a magnet, everyone was drawn to her."
Newborough's body was found in undergrowth near the village of Woodhouse Eaves in Leicestershire in August last year.
She had been strangled and her throat had been cut, with a post-mortem examination finding she had suffered 14 wounds to her neck.
She had met McCullam, who is from Coalville, at work, where they began a "relationship of sorts."
He initially denied murder, and admitted manslaughter, but was convicted of the charge on Monday following a trial at Leicester Crown Court.
Megan's father, Anthony, added that she had been set to buy her own home before she died.
"She had everything to look forward to," he said.
"She was just about to get a house, she was signing the following week. She was doing really well at work, was well liked, looking at promotion."
"I started messaging her, both on messenger, on WhatsApp, on every social media way I could think of"
Mum Elaine spoke of the growing concern she felt when her daughter failed to return calls on the day of her death.
"I started messaging her, both on messenger, on WhatsApp, on every social media way I could think of. Calling her - no answer.
"But there's that little green light you have on your phone that shows that you're online. I thought, she's obviously OK, because it looks like she's online.
"It was awful, because I couldn't understand why she couldn't get back in touch."
McCullam had claimed he could not be guilty of murdering 23-year-old Miss Newborough because he acted after a loss of control.
He told a jury he went into a "a volcano of rage" set off by undiagnosed PTSD caused by unreported childhood sexual abuse.
McCullam then attacked Miss Newborough in the living room of the home he shared with his parents before cutting her throat with a carving knife to "make sure she was dead".
He then went on to bundle her body into her own Citroen C3 and drove, without a driving licence, to a remote rural location near the village of Woodhouse Eaves, Leicestershire to dump the body in undergrowth.
He later discarded her phone in Hermitage Road, Whitwick and left her car in the car park of Loughborough College; jurors were later told how he left messages on Ms Newborough's phone in a bid to cover his tracks.
"I don't know how we process it"
Ross McCullam has been sentenced to life in prison and ordered to serve a minimum of 23 years.
But in an impact statement read to the court, Newborough's family said it was they who would carry a life sentence.
"We simply don’t know where to begin.
"We’re a large, close-knit family and our lives have been well and truly ripped apart.
"Megan shone like a star to everyone she came into contact with. She excelled at work and was an enthusiastic dancer, teaching children of all ages.
"She had a bright future ahead of her," they added.
"Megan’s story is our story – we’re the ones serving the life sentence."
Her father said" "I suppose it's a bit of closure - we can move forwards - because of course there's been huge delays with the trial"
"I don't know how we process it, moving forward. We have to try and live Megan's legacy."
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