Jade Hurst, 31, spoke to The News after the man who dealt 21-year-old George Allison a fatal blow was convicted at Winchester Crown Court.
Kevin Batchelor denied murdering George, claiming he was acting in self-defence when he stabbed his pal in the shoulder in the kitchen of a mutual friend’s home in Tichborne Grove, Leigh Park, on May 23 last year at 11pm.
But jurors who spent more than 11 hours deliberating saw through his lies and found the 26-year-old guilty of murder.
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Speaking to The News, mum-of-four Jade said: ‘I’m absolutely ecstatic, over the moon - so pleased that George has got justice and that my niece Lola has got justice for her daddy.
‘It’s felt like time has stood still in the last year and it feels like endless fights to get George his justice that he deserved. It’s been a hard year, and it seems to have flown by very quickly.
‘I just wish he was here. He was the best little brother you could have wished for, and I’m so proud of him. His heart was always in the right place.
‘There’s a little bit of my heart that’s missing because he’s not here.’
The Portsmouth-based healthcare assistant added: ‘He was always one to make you laugh. He was always a happy-go-lucky person, just full of life - silly little things he did made you laugh.’
Dad-of-two George’s four-year-old daughter Lola ‘talks to the sky to say I love you’ to her father, Jade added.
‘She was very much a daddy’s girl and she still is,’ she said. ‘She finds a feather in the garden and she thinks it’s a feather off his angel wings.’
Jade added: ‘She’s our living, talking version of George.’
George also leaves behind a second daughter and his mum, 50-year-old Kate Stanwick.
He died two days before he was due to start a new job as a labourer.
‘He was just starting to turn his life around and Kevin took that from him,’ Jade said.
She hopes Batchelor, who rode off on a push bike bare-chested from the stabbing, will be handed a minimum term of at least 25 years.
‘When he finishes his sentence he gets to walk out those gates of whatever prison he’s in,’ Jade said. ‘Our life sentence has just started.
‘We’re never going to see George, hear him, or give him a cuddle again, where Kevin has that chance to walk out those gates in very many years to come.
‘No sentence will ever be long enough but he still needs to pay for his crime he has committed.’
Hearing the trial was difficult and at times unpleasant for the family, Jade said, but the verdicts are welcome.
‘It’s the start of the healing process, the process of being able to grieve properly and making sure George’s memories live on,’ she said.
Jade is now active in promoting knife crime awareness and urges people not to carry a blade.
‘Losing George to a knife highlighted how bad knife crime actually is and something needs to be done,’ she said.
‘I wouldn’t want any family to go through what we’ve been through.’
Jade praised police for their investigation and trial prosecutor Kerry Maylin.
During the trial jurors had been told there were simmering tensions between him and George in the evening of the stabbing.
Batchelor, of East Hill, Camborne, Cornwall, ‘lost the plot’ and punched George before seizing a 12in kitchen knife and stabbing George in the shoulder causing ‘catastrophic’ injuries.
George collapsed in the living room of friend Cherelle Ash’s home as Batchelor fled.
Batchelor arrived at his 34-year-old sister Hayley Batchelor’s home in Highwood Lawn, Leigh Park, where his clothes were washed.
Barry Baker, 39, of Oracle Drive, Widley, disposed of the knife in a storm drain near The Swallow pub, in Dunsbury Way, Leigh Park.
Baker and Miss Batchelor were each convicted of assisting an offender, having denied the charges.
Lewis Turner, 32, of Fore Street, Camelford, Cornwall, was found not guilty of the charge he denied.
During the fatal incident, the fourth person at the barbecue, Chellby Ferrol, came between the two men on the fatal day and suffered an injury.
Batchelor was found not guilty of wounding with intent on Ms Ferrol while trying to inflict grievous bodily harm on Mr Allison.
He was also found not guilty of the alternative charge of unlawfully wounding Ms Ferrol.
Judge Jane Miller QC said the jury’s verdicts meant it was accepted her injuries were an accident in the fracas.
Batchelor will be sentenced on June 16 and was remanded into custody. His sister and Baker will be sentenced on July 2 and were bailed.
Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Lee McClellan said: ‘This was a tragic and senseless incident in which a young man has lost his life.
‘The key message we hope people take away from this is that a single act and a split-second decision can cause devastating lasting damage to numerous lives.’
He added: ‘Above all, our thoughts remain with George’s friends, family and all those that knew him.’