Video: Sinead Wooding's family describe aftermath of her murder in emotional statement

The family of murdered Leeds mum Sinead Wooding have given an emotional statement on the steps of Leeds Crown Court.

Sinead's sisters Natalie and Katie (front row) with her family and friends

Her relatives spoke after her husband Akshar Ali and his friend Yasmin Ahmed were convicted of Sinead's murder and given life sentences with a minimum tariff of 22 years.

A third defendant, Vicky Briggs, was jailed for four years for her role in assisting the killers.

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Sinead, who had four children, was brutally killed at her home in Potternewton before her body was set alight and dumped in woodland near Alwoodley.

Sinead's sisters Natalie and Katie (front row) with her family and friends

A police officer investigating the case described her death as the most 'horrific and brutal attack' he had encountered in his 28-year career.

Statement from Sinead Wooding's family

“It is so hard to put into words the impact that Sinead’s murder has had on us all. We are completely devastated that she has been taken away from her family and her children at such a young age and in such terrible circumstances.

“Those responsible were the people who should have been looking after and loving Sinead, especially her husband Ali. Instead these vile people murdered her in what must have been a horrific ordeal, and then treated her body disgustingly as they tried to cover up what they had done.

Sinead's friends paid tribute to her outside court

“We feel the pain of our loss every waking moment of every day and are still struggling to understand how another human being could be so cruel and take her life in such a horrible and brutal way. This is a pain that will never go away and the family will have to live it with for the rest of our lives.

“Sinead’s four children are having to grow up without their mum and as they get older will have to deal with knowing that their father killed their mum. No child should have to deal with that.

“Ali and Ahmed did not have the decency to admit their guilt or take responsibility for their actions which meant the family has had to sit in court and listen to the horrible truth of what they did.

“No amount of time in prison is ever going to bring Sinead back and it will never be long enough. They have taken her whole life away but they will still get to see their families. We will never forgive them for what they have done.”

Vicky Briggs was convicted of assisting an offender

Statement from DCI Stuart Spencer, West Yorkshire Police

“The murder of Sinead Wooding was the most horrific and brutal attack that I have ever encountered in my twenty eight years in policing. I was genuinely shocked that anyone could take the life of another human being in such a cruel and callous way.

“After the murder Ali and Ahmed, assisted by Briggs, went to great lengths to dispose of Sinead’s body and destroy any evidence of their involvement. This left her body in such a state that the family weren’t able to see her to say their final goodbyes.

“This also presented us with some very challenging circumstances to investigate. The determination of the investigation team, armed with the latest techniques, saw us quickly identify the murder scene, the additional scenes and uncover a wealth of forensic material connecting those involved to the murder.

“The weight of that evidence, which included a specially-produced 3D replica of Sinead’s skull being shown to the jury, undoubtedly secured the convictions of those involved.

“I completely understand how the conviction of these individuals will in no way lessen the pain for Sinead’s family, but I do hope it gives them some comfort to know that those responsible are beginning life sentences for this appalling crime.”

Sinead's sisters Natalie and Katie (front row) with her family and friends
Sinead's friends paid tribute to her outside court
Vicky Briggs was convicted of assisting an offender