THE family of a teenager jailed for 21 years for trying to murder three women have spoken of their sorrow for the victims.
Keiren Moynihan, 45, the father of Ben Moynihan, said he hoped the women who were stabbed with a steak knife in the chest had got the justice they sought.
Speaking exclusively to The News, Mr Moynihan said his 18-year-old son was sorry for the attacks in Portsmouth, which he carried out in revenge for the fact that he was a virgin.
The stabbings caused widespread fear in the community last summer and forever changed the lives of three women.
Ben Moynihan did not speak in the dock as he was sentenced by a judge at Winchester Crown Court yesterday. He was wearing a smart white shirt and looked nervous at times as he sat beside two security guards.
Moynihan, of The Ridings, Hilsea, was earlier found guilty by a jury of attempting to murder three women in Cosham and Wymering last year. His face was expressionless as he was sent to prison.
Speaking after the sentence, Keiren Moynihan told The News: ‘He obviously deserves a lengthy sentence. It’s a lot more than I thought it would be.
‘I seriously hope the victims can now put this behind them and get on with their lives.
‘I hope they feel they have the justice they were looking for.
‘Twenty one years – it’s his life gone. He’s now got 21 years to think about what he’s done and hopefully he will get the help he needs in prison.
‘He can come out and hopefully put his life back together.’
Before his arrest, Moynihan had left a note for police which read ‘all women need to die’, while a journal was later found containing descriptions of violence the teenager dubbed his ‘diary of evil’.
In a video found on his laptop, Moynihan had filmed recorded messages in which he also made threats against women.
Police also uncovered letters in which Moynihan said his frustration at not being able to lose his virginity had led to the attacks.
Mr Moynihan said he had spoken to his son in prison and over the phone.
‘He has always said he’s sorry for what he’s done,’ said Mr Moynihan, who is originally from Portsmouth but now lives in Seaford, East Sussex.
‘People have this perception he’s sitting there playing PlayStation all day – he’s not.
‘He’s in a prison cell for 20-odd hours a day. He’s missing his family and misses his home.
‘He’s done a lot of thinking and in my view, he’s grown up a lot in the six months he has been in prison.
‘He’s always going to be our Ben.’
The family, including Moynihan’s mum Michelle and step-mum Anne, drafted a joint letter on their feelings about the sentence.
It read: ‘We hope that the victims and their families can take some comfort from the fact that there has been a fair trial and guilty verdict and we are so sorry that they have been hurt in this way.
‘We hope they are able to move on from this and not allow Ben’s actions to limits their lives in any way.
‘We are also hopeful that our Ben will get the help he so desperately needs and comes out on the other side ready and able to make a decent life for himself.
‘It was always going to be hard for Ben but a criminal record will make it even harder which is why we won’t turn our backs on him and want to support him as he is our boy. Ben has never been in a fight before so you can’t imagine what it has been like for us to come to terms with what he has done and we are so sorry for the three women involved.
‘If we could turn the clock back and change it, we would, but we all have to come to terms with it in our own way.
‘It has been really hard – especially for his dad because he and Ben were always so close.
‘For him not to have come and told us how he was feeling or what was on his mind is something we will have to live with as we will never know if we could have stepped in and stopped him making those choices.
‘It has been the worst time of our lives but while we have been worried about Ben, every time we think of him, we think of his victims and are concerned for them, too.’
Moynihan was studying catering at South Downs College and one of his biggest ambitions was to go to America.
It is unlikely he will ever be allowed into the country now.
Stepmum Anne Moynihan said her stepson was a keen runner, having done his first 10k race in 44 minutes.
She said: ‘That boy has got a really good heart. It’s devastating. None of us saw it coming.’
His mum, Michelle Moynihan, said she will always picture her son as a little boy with angel wings.
‘All his teachers at school liked him,’ she said. ‘They couldn’t believe it.’