On the day a killer was sentenced to at least 29 years in prison for killing a mum and daughter their family has paid tribute to the beautiful pair.

Christopher Boon was sentenced today (Monday November 5) at Bristol Crown Court for the murders of Gloucester woman Laura Mortimer and her 11-year-old daughter Ella Dalby at their home in the city in May this year.

Following the sentencing the family of Laura Mortimer and Ella Dalby released the following statement: "Laura and Ella were both taken from us in the most vicious, painful and unforgivable way and our hearts have been broken beyond repair.

"Their loss leaves a huge void in all of our lives and the sense of grief, anger and despair we all feel has been overwhelming.

"Our beautiful Laura was a devoted mother and the most caring person who would go out of her way to help anyone.

"She was fun loving, lived life to the full and had an infectious sense of humour. She loved to make others happy.

Stroud News and Journal:

Christopher Boon has been sentenced to at least 29 years on prison. Photo credit: Gloucestershire Police/PA Wire
"She wasn't just adored by her family, but by her many friends and those in the wedding industry, where she thrived as a talented wedding planner.

"Ella was a beautiful, loving and happy 11-year-old girl. She was a talented ballroom dancer and was so looking forward to her teenage years and all the exciting things which life would hold for her.

"Ella had a bright future ahead of her which tragically she will never be able to enjoy.

"Ella was Tom's only child. She was his world. She was such a 'daddy's girl' and they spent so much time together.

"The pair were beyond close and there are not enough words to describe how proud of her he was.
Stroud News and Journal:

Christopher Boon, 28, during police questioning earlier this year. Photo credit: Gloucestershire Police/PA Wire
"The public outpouring of grief following the murders of Laura and Ella shows the kind of people they were.

"The memories we have of them are in our thoughts every hour of every day and their loss is torture to us.

"No sentence will ever be enough to pay for what he has done to them and to us.

"He has given us a full life sentence of loss and sorrow. We are thankful that, that cruel, brutal monster will spend years behind bars where he can contemplate and comprehend the heartlessness of his actions.

"We now wish to be left in peace to continue to grieve and to try and start to rebuild our lives after the devastation that has so mercilessly ripped through our families."

Boon’s relationship with Laura has been described as “controlling” by her friends and officers are reminding those who are suffering abuse, who believe others are suffering abuse or know children affected by abuse, of where they can go for help.

Detective Chief Inspector Ruth Mather said: “Laura and Ella’s murders have devastated their loved ones and continue to have a profound effect on all who knew Laura and Ella and the wider community.

“My thoughts today are with Laura and Ella’s family and friends, who have shown unbelievable strength throughout and still have to confront the consequences of Boon’s actions on a daily basis.

“Boon should be clear though - they will never recover from what he did.

“Laura and Ella’s story shines a light on the nature of domestic abuse and the impact on children.

“Many people will be affected by the details and we're keen to make sure that the message about where to seek help gets out there.

Advice on what domestic abuse often involves, the right to ask under Clare’s Law and what you can do to report concerns about someone else can be found at gloucestershire.police.uk/campaigns/domestic-abuse-campaign-2018/

Those suffering abuse may not want to speak to police but officers would also urge people in these circumstances to seek support.

The Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service helps people live safely and move on from abuse.

More details of what they can be found at gdass.org.uk and they have a support phone number of 01452 72657.

A joint domestic homicide review-serious case review into this case has been commissioned and will be published following quality assurance by the Home Office.