Tania's dad vows to move forward
JIM Duell will never forget the beloved daughter who was brutally taken from him six months ago.But today, as father's day looms, the dad of the youngest victim of the red light killings has told of his determination to remember and move forward.
JIM Duell will never forget the beloved daughter who was brutally taken from him six months ago.
But today, as father's day looms, the dad of the youngest victim of the red light killings has told of his determination to remember and move forward.
Tania Nicol, 19, was one of five women plucked from the streets of Ipswich and killed during November and December's Suffolk horror story.
She had fallen into a desperate world of street prostitution, borne out of a necessity to feed her crippling substance addiction.
Tania's naked body was discovered submerged in a brook in Copdock on December 8.
Initially struggling to come to terms with the tragedy, Mr Duell said he spent days thinking only of Tania and the downward drug-induced spiral which had engulfed her.
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But today, the 59-year-old said he preferred to cherish the memories of happier times spent together.
He said: “You can't keep raking up the past, thinking 'if only this' and 'if only that'.
“We still can't believe that a 19-year-old girl who was once in the family has been taken like she was, but we have to move forward.
“Tania's been taken out of the rotten life she ended up in.”
Mr Duell, a devout Christian, said his faith had helped him to find peace.
He continued: “There was initial shock when you don't know what you are doing.
“There were times when I was getting up in the morning and she was the first thing I could think of. I will always remember her everyday, but we have to move on.
“We were all bewildered with the press and the television. It was a whirlwind. But when it died down, things started to get back to normal.
“I went to Tania's grave after they had put in the headstone and beside it was the wooden cross which had been there first of all.
“I picked it up and thought I won't throw it away. Now it's in my bedroom with other little keepsakes and letters which she gave me. I get a feeling of peace from it, which is amazing.
“My faith has been wonderful. As a Christian, I have found the strength to carry on. I know the past is the past. And in another 20 years, maybe sooner, I will be joining her. Tania just got their quicker than me.”
Mr Duell said he has prepared himself for the trial of Steve Wright, the 49-year-old, of London Road, Ipswich, charged with the murders of Tania, Gemma Adams, 25, Annette Nicholls, 29, Anneli Alderton, 24, and Paula Clennell, 24.
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JIM Duell today told how daughter Tania ended up a “slave” to her drug addiction.
He said her dependency brought about a chaotic lifestyle which had removed her from family life.
He said: “During the one-and-a-half years she was so into drugs, I didn't even receive Christmas cards because her life was so topsy-turvy.
“Half the day she would be asleep. She stopped moving in the times we were.
“Father's Day cards tended to be something that Tania never got around to sending me. But Sunday could be poignant for me. At least I know she's resting in peace.
“We are living in a fractured world. The saturation of drugs is still rampant. Tania ended up being trapped and she was walking on a tight rope. Her life was out of control.
“The drugs make them a slave and they become prisoners. That's what Tania was.”