A police officer read out a statement on behalf of Ian Kirwan's wife outside court
The wife of a man who was stabbed to death after he confronted a group of boys messing around in some supermarket toilets has paid tribute to "my rock, my soul mate, my husband."
On Wednesday, a 15-year-old was convicted of murdering the software engineer, who had nipped out to buy a light switch, drinks and snacks, after telling his wife he loved her.
Ian’s wife said: “Ian was a big kid; a wonderful person who was full of love, kindness, and generosity. I really miss him in my life.
"I miss his ways that would drive me crazy but he always made me and our family and friends happy and there was never a day that we wouldn’t laugh when he was with us.
"Ian would always make us feel protected, secure, and safe."
She adds: “Ian was the better half in our relationship. He gave people chances, was a fountain of knowledge, and was passionate about the world, peace, politics, animals, health, and education.
"Ian would have helped anyone, even someone who had done him wrong. He had the biggest heart, he cared for our family and our friends and always supported them where he could in tough times.
“The decisions made by the youths on 8 March 2022 didn’t just take my husband from me but it also took my life, my plans for the future and has an impact on all my choices I make in life.
"Normally when a person dies, they are surrounded by loved ones and family but because of the tragic circumstances of Ian’s death, he died alone surrounded by strangers who were kind enough to help him. Nobody should ever have to die like that.
"I would love to have one more hug with him. When he left on the evening of 8th March 2022 we said goodbye and love you to each other but I didn't hug him and I can’t explain how much I wish I had."
Ian's wife continued: "I feel scared of the future. I cannot think about it as my life moving forward is alone. Ian was my rock, my soul mate, my husband. I will never recover from his death.
"Ian didn't deserve to die, he still had so much to live for."
After a 10-week trial, jurors cleared three other youths – two aged 14 and one aged 16 – of murder and manslaughter but found them guilty of violent disorder.
A fifth boy, aged 16, was acquitted of murder, manslaughter and violent disorder, having claimed he was not involved in the fatal confrontation and could not have predicted it.
All those convicted will be sentenced on February 15.