After her daughter was murdered, Tracey Bradbury had to return to her apartment and clean up her blood.
Her 27-year-old daughter Natasha had never told her she was being abused by her partner and now she was dead having suffered catastrophic injuries at his hands.
A trial heard how Luke Jones had inflicted injuries to Natasha’s neck, brain, liver, ribs and heart as he beat her to death.
Tracey said: “The first I heard that he was abusive was on the day she died. We still don’t know if he’d been beating her the whole time they were together or not. But she was black and blue after it.
“He’d (Jones) smashed up the place and there was blood all over the apartment. I had to clear out the apartment after that and wiped some of the blood from the house.”
Three years on and the grief has taken a toll on the mum-of-four’s mental health. It has also caused financial struggles within the family as Tracey is currently unable to return to work and is caring for Natasha’s young son.
She said: “It has been really hard money wise. We still haven’t paid off her funeral bill and she hasn’t even got a headstone on her grave.
“It just feels wrong that we are paying our taxes for him (Jones) in prison while we are struggling to get on with our everyday lives and struggling with money.”
Tracey said: “He (Jones) was always very quiet and we didn’t know him that well but he’d stayed over at my house and I thought that he loved her and loved her son. I could never imagine that he could do this to her.”
She said she will never forget the day she learnt her daughter had been killed by the man who was supposed to love her.
It was February 23, 2016 and Tracey was at work at a care home in Pembrokeshire.
But a few hours later and Tracey’s husband Darren phoned and told her to come home immediately.
Tracey arrived home to see police vehicles parked outside.
Natasha’s body had been found in her home in Haverfordwest after on-off boyfriend of five years Jones had smashed the house and beaten her to death.
“When I walked through the door, the police asked if I was Tracey and I said yes and then they told me that Natasha had been murdered. I didn’t believe it and then straight away I asked who has done this to her? Do I know this person and they said yes I know him and I said it was Luke wasn’t it?”
Jones, then of Hakin, Milford Haven, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment serving a minimum of 17 years.
Swansea Crown Court had heard how Natasha’s murder was motivated by possessiveness and jealousy.
“Natasha was the most loveable, funny, bright and bubbly girl,” said Tracey.
“She would have given you the last 10 pence she had in her purse. Everyone who met her loved her and she didn’t deserve what happened her. She was a daughter, a sister and a mum.
“I’m still watching the doors everyday, waiting for her to walk through the door. I miss her everyday and everyday is a struggle. I can’t even explain to you what losing a child is like. I wouldn’t wish it on my enemies. I barely leave the house anymore. It feels like I am the one in prison.”
Tracey said: “I go to her grave there every week and right now there’s just a cross there and I feel like we haven’t really laid her to rest so it would be a big weight off our shoulders and she deserves that.”
Natasha’s childhood friend Chanice Dowling, 24, has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for a headstone for Natasha.
She said: “It would be a really big help to the family if they knew the community was behind them and that there were still good people in the world. I think it would just mean a lot that Natasha would finally have a nice place for her to rest.”
Tracey wants to encourage more victims of domestic abuse to speak out and ask for support.
She said: “Natasha was really private and never spoke to me about it but victims need to speak out and get help. I know that’s easier said than done but it just takes one time for an abuser to lose their temper too much and explode and that was it with Natasha it was just one time and that was all it took.”