Son's run in memory of murdered Southsea mum raises vital money for charity

THE son of a woman who was murdered by her violent ex-husband ran a marathon to mark 13 years since she died.

Monday, 21st March 2016, 6:06 am

Julie Sheppard was killed at her home in Francis Avenue, Southsea, in a frenzied attack by Howard Woodin.

Woodin was sentenced to life behind bars for the 2003 murder.

Yesterday, Ms Sheppard’s son Warren Applegate was joined by six friends for the marathon run from outside the house where she was killed to Southampton to raise money for Southampton’s Women’s Aid.

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More than £4,000 has been donated so far.

Mr Applegate, 29, an engineer, said: ‘Because of what happened to my mum it is a charity that’s very close to my heart.

‘It is 13 years since my mum was killed. It’s very hard.

‘I knew the run would be difficult – both physically and emotionally. After my mum died my sister Kirsty and I had to grow up very quickly.

‘I was only 15 but we had to get a flat together.

‘Now I want to make sure that I do everything I can for Women’s Aid. I hope the money we raise can stop other families go through what we went through.

‘There are charities out there who can help.’

It took Joe Conway, Nathan Drummond, Daniel Richards, Andy Gatenby, Mark Gaizley and Sam Drummond four-and-a-half- hours to complete the run.

They finished with a lap of Southampton Common.

There they were met by cheers and whoops by family and friends.

Mr Applegate said: ‘I can’t thank my friends enough.

‘They did it all off their own backs. It was really painful but we pulled each other through.

‘I couldn’t have done it without them.’

Ms Sheppard was terrified of her violent ex-husband, Woodin.

The 2004 trial into her death heard the plumber, from Southsea, launched such a vicious attack he swapped knives halfway through.

Ms Sheppard, who was just 41 when she died, was stabbed 26 times.

Presiding Judge Michael Brodrick told Woodin at the trial: ‘This was a savage attack. You are a devious, domineering, manipulative, self-centred man.’

Since his imprisonment Woodin has spent his time making complaints about his treatment – one even went to the High Court.

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