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I miss my murdered mum so much

PUBLISHED: 13:30 31 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:46 03 March 2010

THE daughter of Ipswich murder victim Janet Fleming today told how her killers not only took the life of her mother, but also that of her best friend.

Every day for two weeks, Naomi Fleming sat through the trial of Damien Duberry, of Morland Road, Ipswich and Leon Sobers, of Birkfield Drive, Ipswich, hoping that the courtroom would answer questions that still haunt her about the terrible events of December 10.

THE daughter of Ipswich murder victim Janet Fleming today told how her killers not only took the life of her mother, but also that of her best friend.

Every day for two weeks, Naomi Fleming sat through the trial of Damien Duberry, of Morland Road, Ipswich and Leon Sobers, of Birkfield Drive, Ipswich, hoping that the courtroom would answer questions that still haunt her about the terrible events of December 10.

But no answers will fill the void her mum's death left behind.

"I miss everything," said the 21-year-old, struggling to blink away her tears as she remembered life with her mother. "I can't put it into words.

Single-mum Janet had a very close relationship with her only child. Though Naomi started working as a holiday rep in Portugal nine months before her mum's death, she kept their Downside Close home as a base and the pair were in regular contact. Even now she struggles to come to terms with the fact that her mum is no longer with her.

"You might think of something and think, I'll tell mum that," said Naomi.

"I used to go to her with problems and she always had the right answer for anything, no matter what it was. From other families I know, I think we were a lot closer,"

"She came to visit me in Portugal in August. She couldn't get off work for my birthday so she brought over a suitcase of presents afterwards - a CD player and clothes and stuff I'd needed like clothes and a ring. When I wasn't working I took her out and about for miles."

Supported by her grandmother Freda and her mum's closest friends, Naomi now tries to focus on the happy times before December and obscures the rest from her mind.

"We talk about mum but not about the bad things. I just try and block it out if I can," she said. And there is no place for thought of her mother's killers. "I don't even think about them," she said.

Two weeks before Janet's murder, Naomi returned to Ipswich from Portugal to celebrate Christmas with her mum. Mother and daughter were planning a winter holiday together in January.

"We were going to have Christmas together, we always had them together. We hadn't had a Christmas apart.

"We were going to go away in January to somewhere like the Caribbean but were still debating where. She wanted to go to Jamaica as she'd been there before and really like it. She wanted to go back and take me," Naomi said.

But the pair had time to do little more than Christmas shop before masked attackers raided Harleys pub, where Janet worked part-time, and left the 38-year-old for dead.

Naomi, who has since moved from the family Downside Close near the scene of the attack, will not go near the Stoke Park Drive shopping precinct where her mother was killed: "I don't go up there," she said. "I just don't go up there."

Her mum's friends and her family talk often about memories but only let themselves dwell on the good times from Janet's ability to whip up a dish from nothing in the kitchen to the time she tried to catch a tan on her sunbed on their balcony.

"I didn't think I was like my mum but now I do," Naomi said. "We've got the same sense of humour. She was a great cook and would make things up that always tasted nice.

Dubbed "the original party girl" by her friends, Janet loved music and going out with her mates.

"She would go anywhere. She's plan to go out somewhere and end up somewhere completely different. She liked everything," Naomi said. "She had old soul and reggae, Paul Weller and Robbie Williams, and the last CD she bought was a garage one. Sometimes I used to pinch them and pretend they were mine."

Throughout the Fleming family's ordeal they have been overwhelmed with support by friends and the police team involved in the investigation said Naomi's grandmother Freda.

"The police have also been wonderful," she said. "They sent Viv Yarham, a family liaison officer, who came to the hospital right from the very beginning.

"She's been such a tower of strength, support and understanding. I would like to pay tribute to the others who have come to see me, particularly Detective Chief Inspector Tim Beach, Detective Inspector Rick Munns, and Detective Constable Jason Berry.

"They used to visit my husband in hospital when he was ill."

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