THE heartbroken mother of a teenage stab victim has told how she constantly relives the night gardai came to her door to tell her her son was dead.
Lotte Lyne said the pain of losing her son Stephen (17) would always be "etched on her soul".
Clutching a framed photograph of her son, Mrs Lyne read out a victim impact statement at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court yesterday during the sentencing hearing of an Estonian national, the only person to ever face charges in connection with the killing.
Martin Ollo (19) of An Doireann Aileann, Ballydribeen, Killarney, Co Kerry will be sentenced today for conspiring to assault Stephen Lyne causing him harm on June 15 and 16, 2009.
Mr Lyne of 35 Castle Falls, Killarney, died of a single stab wound to the back on the Ross Road in the town on June 18, 2009.
Yesterday, Mrs Lyne said whatever the outcome of the hearing, she and her husband Denis and their family would have to live with a sentence of their own, longer than any life sentence.
"We continue to relive that nightmare every day and we will do so for the rest of our lives," Mrs Lyne said.
She told the court her youngest son, Benjamin (11), constantly wakes up in the dark of night trembling with fear.
She said her son Mathias (17), who has special needs, still gets overwhelmed with sorrow. "How do I explain to such innocence the evil that took away his beloved brother?" she asked.
She said that her son Jonas (16) is fast approaching the age his brother had been when he was torn from them, and is desperately missing his brother.
Her daughter Sophia (21) has trouble sleeping and struggles with depression. "Getting through every day is a struggle, unable to come to terms with the loss of her beloved Stephen, her brother and best friend," she said. And she said her eldest child Tasha (23) carried the loss of her brother deep in her heart and was unable to speak about it because the pain was too deep.
Mrs Lyne said her husband had endured the agony of having seen his son's lifeless body lying on the road.
"He collapsed on the ground and was held back from reaching his son -- never to hold him again," she said, adding that he constantly blamed himself for not being able to keep him safe.
Mrs Lyne said her own life had been utterly shattered by the death of her son and only a mother who had lost a son could understand the pain.
"I live life every day doing the things I have to do, keeping it together for my family as I have to, even smiling and sometimes laughing. But inside I am crying, helplessly," she said.
The court heard that the beating of Stephen Lyne planned by Ollo and another man, Shane Regan, was supposed to happen on June 16 but Mr Lyne's parents arrived to bring him home.
The prosecution contended that Ollo had lured Mr Lyne to Scrahan Mews off the Ross Road so that Mr Regan could give him a beating because they believed he was raping girls. Mr Regan also believed that Mr Lyne had raped his girlfriend, Jessica Klok, at knife point but Ms Klok admitted during the trial for the first time that she had lied.
Mr Regan, who the prosecution claimed had inflicted the fatal stab wound, died in an unrelated incident in August 2010, following a fall in a house in Tralee.
He was never charged in relation to the killing.