Kayleigh Dunning's 'despairing' mum tells murderer Mark Brandford: 'I hope you go to prison for a very long time and rot'

THE devastated mum of Kayleigh Dunning told her murderer Mark Brandford during an emotional court sentencing: ‘I want you to suffer for what you have done, I hope you go to prison for a very long time and rot.’

Monday, 8th March 2021, 2:30 pm

Brandford, 49, was jailed for a minimum life sentence of 23 years for the ‘ferocious’ murder of his fiancee Ms Dunning, 32, at his Kingston Crescent flat in North End overnight on December 16-17, 2019.

At his sentencing hearing, Brandford was also handed down a 21-month concurrent sentence by judge Timothy Mousley QC for his ‘malicious campaign’ of revenge porn.

Before Colas road sweeper Brandford was delivered the sentence at Portsmouth Crown Court following the first murder trial held in the city, Ms Dunning’s mum Gaynor Hirst read out her victim impact statement to the court where she revealed her ‘despair’ and ‘hate’ for Brandford.

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Mark Brandford has been jailed for 23 years for murdering 32-year-old Kayleigh Dunning in Portsmouth overnight on December 16-17 in 2019. Picture: Hampshire police

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'Jealous' Mark Brandford jailed for 23 years for murder of Kayleigh Dunning

The full statement read as follows: ‘Kayleigh was my life, she is my only daughter; she brought sparkle not only to my life but her dad’s and brothers.

‘Family to Kayleigh was so important, as long as we were good then Kayleigh was happy, she was so caring.

‘Kayleigh worked hard but would also have fun. We would have mother and daughter nights, sometimes we would go out and other times we would just stay home, watch movies and have a good laugh. I loved my daughter unconditionally.

Police investigating after Kayleigh Dunning was found dead in Kingston Crescent, Portsmouth on December 17, 2019. Mark Brandford has been jailed for her murder. Inset, Kayleigh Dunning. Picture taken December 20. Picture: Ben Fishwick/Hampshire police

‘I saw Kayleigh in the morgue at Winchester Hospital, I kissed her and gave her a cuddle. I could see that she had injuries to her head, I will never get that image out of my mind. When Kayleigh was moved to the chapel of rest I wanted to see her again to give her a last kiss and say goodbye but I was told that she had decomposed and that I couldn’t, this broke my heart.

‘Kayleigh has been taken from me by Brandford, he has ripped my heart out. If it was not for my son I would have taken my own life. I have never felt despair like this and it feels like it will never end. No mother should have to bury their daughter but to have to bury her knowing that she suffered a painful violent death is unbearable.

‘My feelings towards Brandford are of pure hate, he is nothing but a monster who ended the life of loving young girl who had her whole life in front of her. He has robbed Kayleigh of the chance of being a mother something she always wanted. I will now never meet my grandchildren.

CCTV shown to a murder trial jury at Portsmouth Crown Court shows Mark Brandford at Betfred in Arundel Street when he gets a call from police about Kayleigh Dunning who had been reported missing on December 17

‘Kayleigh’s dad has had a stroke brought on by the stress of these last few months. I battle with everyday life, I am on medication now for depression. When I do sleep, I sleep on the sofa surrounded by Kayleigh’s possessions.

‘When I wake in the morning my first thoughts are of Kayleigh, I have mixed emotions, sad and then angry, I feel out of control. I feel that I am living a life sentence, my pain will never end. Everyday tasks are a chore but I will get through this because I have to think about my son, I have to be there for him.

‘I never thought I would have ill feeling towards another person but you do when something as precious as a child is taken from you in a way that Kayleigh was taken from me. You want that person to suffer.

‘I am telling you today Brandford that I want you to suffer for what you have done, I hope you go to prison for a very long time and rot, you deserve nothing more than being locked away so that you can never hurt anyone again.’

The crowbar recovered by police investigating the death of Kayleigh Dunning in Portsmouth. Mark Brandford has been jailed for her murder. Picture: Hampshire police

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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