Statement issued by the family of Emily Longley
The parents of Emily Longley have released a statement following the conviction of her murderer at Winchester Crown Court. Paying tribute to their daughter, who was 17 when she died last May, Mark and Caroline Longley, said:
“It has been an extremely long wait for this day – our lives have been in limbo for just over a year now and the trial has represented an especially difficult four weeks. We are delighted with the verdict and delighted that justice has been achieved for Emily.
“It has been heartbreaking to hear how Elliot Turner killed our daughter and then left her to die alone. We never met Turner and none of us had any idea that he was capable of anything like this. As parents, you want to be able to protect your daughter and it is incredibly tough to feel that we weren’t able to do that. The whole ordeal must have been terrifying for Emily.
“Turner has caused suffering in two different countries, on the opposite sides of the world. So many lives have been affected and you can see this from the thousands of online tributes to Emily made within mere days of her death.
“We last saw Emily when she stayed with us during the Easter holidays of 2011. We had such a happy time and our last memories of Emily are of a beautiful, bright and driven young woman. She was the sort of person that would improve just about anybody’s mood and make people feel good about themselves – quite simply, the world was a better place with her in it.
“Emily came back to England to attend a business studies course after falling in love with Brockenhurst College. It was a very brave thing for a teenager to do and within just eight months she had set up a whole life for herself over here. She had a part-time job, was doing very well with her studies and had already made a large number of friends. We are very proud of her for that.
“We’re also proud that Emily recognised Turner’s obsessive nature very early on and told him that she just wanted to be friends. It’s just so tragic that at only 17 she struggled to get away from him.
“We have also witnessed no emotion and no remorse from Turner. Emily’s only crime was being too nice, loving and forgiving. She wouldn’t hurt anybody and Turner manipulated that part of her nature. She was more than his match and completely out of his league and he punished her for that.
“Turner has taken away Emily’s adult life and we feel cheated by this. We won’t be able to experience all of those exciting moments that parents dream of – we’ll never see her walk down the aisle on her wedding day or raise a family of her own. It’s also immensely difficult for Emily’s sister, Hannah, who has lost her guide. We have all been robbed of Emily.
“Leigh and Anita Turner can always visit their son in prison, but we have been punished for the rest of our lives. Elliot Turner’s sentence won’t bring Emily back and we truly hope they reflect on this in the years to come.
“Of course, we would like to thank the police who have been exemplary throughout. Detective Inspector Neil Devoto and Detective Sergeant Gavin Dudfield have been brilliant and the commitment of the entire team has been outstanding.
“We would also like to thank the prosecuting team, which has been very understanding at all times, Victim Support, and in particular, everybody who has come along and shown their love for Emily at court. The public gallery has regularly been packed full of family and friends.
“We would now ask for privacy. It has been difficult to mourn without knowing the full circumstances of Emily’s death and now, following these verdicts, it is finally time for the grieving process to begin.”