Ethan Hopson's mum speaks of her 'life sentence' after killer gets eight years
TEARFUL mother Karly Hopson has paid a moving and emotional tribute to her precious son Ethan – and revealed how the loss of her "little mate" had "devastated" her life.
Her grief and upset at the loss of her much-loved baby was revealed in court just minutes before Ethan's killer, Jason Redgrave, was jailed for eight years after being convicted of manslaughter.
Redgrave, 25, of Grimsby, was cleared by a jury at Hull Crown Court of murdering six-month-old Ethan between December 16 and 23.
The prosecution claimed he viciously slapped, hit and shook Ethan because he was furious that the defenceless baby disturbed him by crying while he was busy exchanging sexually-charged text messages with another man.
Unemployed Redgrave was supposed to be looking after Ethan for his girlfriend, Miss Hopson, 23, at her Cleethorpes home while she was out celebrating a friend's birthday.
Miss Hopson told the court in a victim impact statement: "What happened in December last year has devastated my life. Jason Redgrave has destroyed my and my family's lives.
"We have to suffer this for all our life.
"Since the massive shock of Ethan's death, I have not asked for, or been given, medication by my doctor."
She added that she had always suffered from panic attacks but these had increased since the loss of Ethan and she had asked her doctor for counselling.
"Emotionally, I felt that I had some stability in my life with Ethan," said Miss Hopson.
"He was my little mate. When we lost Ethan, I was in total shock.
"I did not automatically blame Jason Redgrave. I was protective towards him. Why would anyone do that to a baby?
"I feel like my life with Ethan was a dream. I struggle to find words to describe it. It's destroyed my life."
The lives of her family had also been destroyed but, since Ethan's death, she had enjoyed raising money for Sheffield Children's Hospital and felt she had to do something by way of thanking the hospital's staff and giving something back to them.
She added: "It's me and my family with a life sentence."