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Mother of murdered Massareene attack soldier describes living with his loss eight years on

Geraldine Ferguson has described the loss of her son Sapper Patrick Azimkar at Massereene Barracks on the eighth anniversary of his death. Picture by Justin Kernoghan/ PhotopressBelfast

THE mother of a young soldier murdered by dissident republicans has described how she lives with the "extra burden" of knowing no-one will be brought to justice for his killing.

Geraldine Ferguson made an emotional return to Massareene Barracks in Co Antrim yesterday on the eighth anniversary of the death of her son Sapper Patrick Azimkar.

Laying flowers at the spot where he was killed, Mrs Ferguson said "it's not easy living with loss of your son as well as the injustice".

Sapper Azimkar (21) from London and Sappar Mark Quinsey (23) from Birmingham were killed on March 7 2009, gunned down outside the gates of the army barracks as they collected a pizza delivery.

Lurgan republican Colin Duffy was acquitted of involvement in 2012. Brian Shivers was convicted, however, this was later quashed by the Court of Appeal, which ordered a retrial in which he was found not guilty.

A commemoration service was held in Antrim yesterday at the memorial bearing the soldiers' names, before the family of Sapper Azimkar visited Massareene Barracks to lay flowers.

Mrs Ferguson said visiting the site of her son's killing was "very hard".

"It's not as raw now as it was back then, eight years ago, the rawness has gone. I remember I couldn't speak, I was crying all the time, but I have accepted it now," she said.

"It's always going to be with us, they say that losing a child is the hardest thing and it's true.

"Laying the flowers there, I can't describe the absolute, desperate pain, I know the exact place where Patrick fell and where he died so it's very hard.

"Such a waste of a young life, there's just no purpose in it."

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