THE brother of a 29-year-old woman murdered in her home apologised to her for not being there "when she needed him most".
John Burroughs was speaking minutes before Jason Daly (42), originally from Sandyford in Dublin, was sentenced to life for the murder of Diane Burroughs in her flat at Main Street, Mountrath, on April 16, 2011.
The victim's father, John Burroughs Snr, also told the court in a statement read by a garda witness that he lived in fear of a knock on the door like the one to tell him of his daughter's murder.
He thought of what she went through, had nightmares and was sleepwalking.
Sentencing Daly, Mr Justice Barry White asked that the victim impact reports remain on the file so that they can be seen by the parole board in future.
Daly was found guilty on Friday last of the murder of Ms Burroughs at PJ Delaney Flats where he also lived.
The couple had an on-off relationship and the victim was strangled with her nightdress and cut on the neck with a glass.
Afterwards, Daly told several people in the Co Laois village what he had done.
Today, John Burroughs said that no words could bring his sister back. The family would never be the same and they had feelings of fear which turned to shock, anger and despair.
Their lives had been turned upside down and they were heartbroken.
"The trial has opened our eyes to the pain that members of the human race can inflict on other members of society."
While all the family would miss her, she would be missed most of all by her daughter, aged 10, whom she would never see grow into a beautiful lady.
His deepest regret was "I wasn't there to protect my sister when she needed me most. I'm really sorry, Diane."
Sergeant Justine Reilly said Diane was the seventh child in a family of 10 and that her daughter was now being cared for by Diane's sister.
In a statement on behalf of the victim's father, she said he had difficulty sleeping and had nightmares hearing Diane "calling me to help her".
He said this meant that he sleepwalked a lot. He thought of what she went through, what the accused had done and that Diane now "lies in the ground alone".
Paul Greene, counsel for Daly, said his client wished to express sincere remorse for what he had done and apologise.