My mum was smiling about this handsome man that she had met, who was cousins with the boyfriend of her best friend. A few days later, he asked her on a date and she accepted. He began regularly taking her out for meals; she would get dressed up and run out of the house and into his car. He would park away from the house, as mum didn’t want me and my sister meeting him yet, as it was early days. I would creep up behind her, hide behind the bushes and watch them drive off together, wandering who this mysterious man was. They carried on going out for meals together for a few months, but after a while, mum realised that he wasn’t the right one for her and she decided to stop going out for meals with him.
They both moved on and got into new relationships and a year or two later, she got a text to say that he was dead. Mark Roberts had been murdered:
he had been walking through a park when he was approached by four teenagers – Sheppard, who was 17 at the time, another boy and two girls, aged between 15 and 17.
The girl from Bristol, who was 15 at the time, had been accused of attacking Mr Roberts and then using her mobile phone to film Sheppard beating him to death.
She filmed for about 90 seconds during the attack, which involved kicking and stamping on Mr Roberts and repeatedly banging his head on the pavement, it was said.
Jurors heard the video clip was later deleted and police have never been able to recover it.
Mr Roberts suffered a cardiac arrest and was taken to Weston General Hospital where he died 36 hours later.
When the attack happened, Mark was walking home drunk and it was the alcohol mixed with the blunt force trauma to his head that killed him.
Ryan Sheppard pleaded guilty to the murder of Mark Roberts, after shoe printed bruises were found on Mark’s forehead and blood on his shoes and elbow. He has yet to be sentenced.
The girl who filmed the attack was found… not guilty!
I do not understand how she could have been found not guilty, when any other normal human being would have stopped the murder and not filmed the attack! She was just as much to blame as Ryan Sheppard. I still feel sick to my stomach, thinking of the day it happened and my mum driving home from town in tears. Whatever sentence Ryan Sheppard gets will not be enough and I hope that he rots in hell. I feel disgusted seeing the messages of support from family members and friends on Facebook!
R.I.P Mark Roberts, mum still thinks about you all of the time.