Son's marathon effort for murdered mother
THE son of a murdered woman is running a marathon to raise cash for a domestic abuse charity.
Warren Applegate will run with friends from Francis Avenue in Southsea, where his mother Julie Sheppard was brutally stabbed to death by her former husband Howard Woodin in 2003.
Now after moving back to Portsmouth, Warren, 29, hopes to raise cash for struggling domestic abuse services that are having funding axed.
He is running on March 20, 13 years after his mother was murdered.
He said: ‘We’ve set a modest fundraising target this time of £2,000 but I want to smash that.
‘The marathon is going to be a massive struggle for me, but I’m determined to do it.
‘We’re all training hard and I have already got up to 10 miles.
‘I’d be really grateful if people could get behind us, not just with sponsorship, but in joining us in saying to the authorities that we want these services to stay. I appeal to the powers-that-be to stop the funding cuts.’
Warren is raising money for Southampton Women’s-Aid. He believes his mother would still be alive if she had accessed professional services’ help.
He added: ‘While the abuse was going on she had turned to friends and family, but didn’t seek professional help. If she had I believe she could still be alive today, and that’s why these services are so important.
‘With the funding being cut there’s not going to be an outreach service for the women and children who are going through something similar to my mum and need help, and that’s tragic.
‘There are lives at stake. I don’t know if my mum knew that this help was out there, but if she had things could have been so different.’
Woodin was jailed for life in May 2004 after a jury found him guilty of murdering Ms Sheppard. He stabbed her 26 times in the attack.
After being jailed, Woodin made repeated court claims, including demanding a typewriter in prison as he has arthritis. The claims were dismissed by judges.