The grieving parents of a young man who was murdered by his girlfriend have spoken out about their family’s heartbreak for the first time.
Kasey Anderson, 24, was brutally stabbed in the heart by his girlfriend Natalie Bennett, who was more than twice his age.
His death followed a sickening campaign of domestic abuse during which Kasey suffered bruises and black eyes.
His father, Graham Anderson, and stepmother, Jackie Morrey, 39, tried everything to rescue him from her clutches, even warning Kasey that she would eventually kill him.
Their fears were tragically realised when Bennett, 47, knifed him in the heart, just a week before his 25th birthday in March last year.
Victim Impact Statement
Graham, 61, from Liverpool, said: ‘Kasey was a really lovely lad, happy and kind-hearted. He loved fishing and playing football and he was in Everton’s academy.
‘But when he met Bennett, he completely changed. She took the light out of his eyes. He came home with black eyes and bruises but the more we begged him to leave her, the more she got her claws in.
‘If there is anyone out there, fighting a battle with domestic abuse, man or woman, speak out and get help. Don’t leave it too late. Speaking up is not a weakness, it is the biggest strength you can show. Please don’t let your families go through what we are going through.’
Kasey, the eldest of four children, with younger siblings Molly, Connor and James, was born in April 1998 and raised by Graham and Jackie, with help from his aunt, Denise.
He was a talented footballer, playing for Everton FC throughout his teenage years, with his picture on billboards at the club.
Graham said: ‘He was a typical boy, he liked football and fishing, and he loved playing out. He had so many friends. As they got older, he’d drink lemonade on nights out, and his mates all teased him.
‘He had one Kopparberg on Jackie’s birthday, and it made him feel sick. That was just how he was, clean-living and full of fun. He brought us so much joy.
‘Aged 18, Kasey’s two-year relationship with his childhood sweetheart ended.
Graham continued: ‘He was vulnerable, after the split, and it was then that Natalie Bennett saw her chance. She was well-known all over our estate.
‘When we found out he was seeing her, we were mortified. She was streetwise and manipulative, and Kasey was really kind-hearted and trusting.
How He Was Domestically Abused
‘We pleaded with him to finish it, but she’d tell him we didn’t love him, and we didn’t want him to be happy. We felt we were pushing him further towards her. We didn’t know what to do for the best.
‘We tried tough love, telling him we wouldn’t support him if he kept seeing her. But she twisted that round to her advantage.
‘I even went to see her and begged her to leave him alone and find someone her own age, but she wouldn’t listen.
‘Kasey started coming home with black eyes, bruises and scratches. He told us he’d slipped or fallen off his bike. Once he said he’d walked into a door.
‘We knew she was hurting him, but we couldn’t get him to admit it. He didn’t recognise at all that he was being domestically abused.’