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Vicky lives on says best friend Gemma

PUBLISHED: 19:54 20 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:53 03 March 2010

GEMMA Algar is haunted by a nightmare in which she and

murdered best friend Vicky Hall would have done things

differently on that fateful night.

Life will never be the same for the friend of the teenager, who minutes after they parted was never to be seen alive again - except by her killer.

GEMMA Algar is haunted by a nightmare in which she and

murdered best friend Vicky Hall would have done things

differently on that fateful night.

Life will never be the same for the friend of the teenager, who minutes after they parted was never to be seen alive again – except by her killer.

It left Gemma in emotional turmoil, afraid to go out after dark and the

memories of that night two years ago will live with her forever.

Now 19, Gemma still goes over in her mind the "what ifs" and "if onlys" of September 19, 1999, which might have meant that the friend she loved like a sister was still alive today.

Friends and family say Gemma has been very brave.

She has been through some hard times over the past two years, a roller-coaster of emotions, tormenting

herself with her thoughts of that night, that it could have been her instead of Vicky who was grabbed, shedding tears, but clinging to the happy

memories of the times they shared together.

She has also courageously spoken

publicly, too, at press conferences, in TV interviews, at the service of thanksgiving for Vicky – doing all she can to help track down the person who killed her best friend – and in the

witness box in court.

She has also tried to rebuild her own life. She has passed her driving test, making it easier to go out and been on a college course to further her education.

Gemma and Vicky had known each other since they attended Trimley St Mary primary school and became firm friends with the move to Orwell High School when they were both 11.

Gemma left school at 16 to work for a travel tour operator in Felixstowe, while Vicky stayed on to attend Felixstowe Sixth Form to study for A-levels.

They remained exceptionally close friends, seeing each other or talking on the phone daily, talking about all the things teenage girls do – boys, gossip, clothes, music, school, work, who they met and where they went.

They had also started exploring Felixstowe's nightlife together and had been together to the Bandbox a handful of times before September 19.

Gemma told Norwich Crown Court: "We talked about all sorts of things. She was caring, she always had a smile on her face, she was happy and always there for you if you needed someone to talk to. She would make time for you, she was very open."

When they parted that night, they had promised to speak on the phone the next day. Although she did not know that they were Vicky's screams, Gemma heard the screams as she walked home that others were later to report to the police.

"I heard a scream. It was two, kind of high-pitched and female, just for a few seconds. It came from the housing estate behind the alley. I just thought it was someone messing about and didn't think anything of it that night and didn't link it to Vicky," she said.

Gemma still misses Vicky badly. In an interview with The Evening Star to help publicise the case, Gemma spoke of the effect the loss of her friend had on her life.

"I am always going over what

happened in my mind. I have thought about that evening so many times. I go over the 'what ifs' and the 'if onlys'," she said.

"I think how the situation could gave been different, if we had done other things, come home later or earlier, got a taxi home, or if she had walked down the road with me or I had walked down the road with her, or we had telephoned her dad like we usually did.

"It has been a very emotional time. I have done a lot of crying. I feel maybe I am a little better now, maybe learning to cope a little better.

"It's been so up and down. At times it has been very hard. Good days and bad days.

"The hardest times are when I see things which meant a lot to us, hear a song we liked, or read things in the newspaper – it seems then so

unbelievable and I think no way, it hasn't happened.

"It's the little things which bring back the memories and upset me.

"I miss her so much. I know Vicky has gone and nothing will bring her back, but she is still in my heart and mind every day."

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