Sisters of Stonebridge murder victim speak about their tragic loss
- Credit: Archant
The sisters of a woman murdered by her abusive ex-boyfriend in Stonebridge have spoken out about their pain following her violent death.
Sharlana Diedrick, 32, was stabbed 16 times by Marvin Samuels, 31, as she sat in her car parked in Wybourne Way in Stonebridge yards away from her killer’s home in Conduit Way.
Samuels had raped a woman as she walked her Chihuahua near the Welsh Harp reservoir hours before he killed the mother-of-four on September 29 last year.
The Samuels physically abused Ms Diedrick during their relationship and was convicted of battery following one attack.
He had admitted manslaughter and rape claiming he was led by a voice in his head called ‘Tommy’.
On Tuesday he was convicted of Ms Diedrick’s murder and acquitted of the attempted murder of the woman he raped.
He will be sentenced on Monday.
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Following his conviction Karlana Diedrick revealed she had lost contact with her youngest sister because of her troubled relationship.
She said: “I will never forget the night my 17-year-old daughter answered the phone to hear her grandma screaming down the phone hysterically that Sharlana had been killed. It took a while for me to actually digest the information.
“I lost touch with Sharlana in the last few years of her life as I couldn’t sit by and watch her being abused on a regular basis by Marvin. I had four children of my own to think about and they had to be my priority.
“It was hard for me at that time, as I had just had a baby three-and-a-half months prior and was trying to deal with that, and at the same time be the head of the family due to being the eldest.” My mum was in no fit state to do anything, let alone organise her youngest daughter’s funeral, that task was left to me. I had never organised a funeral before.
“I remember not sleeping properly for months after that day.
“Marvin has shown no remorse through this whole procedure and I feel he has not been entirely truthful with the court regarding his movements that day.
“We will never really know what happened and my family and I will have to live with that forever.”
Speaking directly to her sister’s killer, Marlana Diedrick said: “You took away a young mother with children who were still dependant on her.
“I wonder how you would have felt watching a three-year-old boy confused crying out for his mum every night for months on end. I wish you could have been a fly on the wall when my mother had to say goodbye to a daughter whose body had started to decompose, because she had been sitting in a mortuary freezer for a whole month.
“Sadly, it was no surprise to us that my sister would end up dead at your hands. Perhaps the surprise was the gruesome way she met her untimely death. As much as it hurts to admit this I am only glad that it was our sister’s life you took rather than that of a total stranger who was innocently walking her dog.
“At least you were no stranger to Sharlana so in hindsight she should not have been fearful of you unlike your other victim who would have been absolutely terrified.
“I hope those last images will be imprinted on your mind for the rest of your life, because whether or not you spend the rest of your life behind bars you will spend the rest of your life reliving the last image of my sister.”