Victim’s Mother: ‘The Pain Is Indescribable’

January 26, 2019

The “pain is indescribable,” Keishaye Steede said in her victim impact statement which read out in court after her son’s killers were convicted in Nottingham Crown Court in England.

Lyrico Steede was only 17-years-old when he was murdered by a group of teenagers in England last year. The five teenagers were sentenced yesterday, with the British court handing down sentences ranging from six to 20 years.

Lyrico Steede:

Lyrico Steede TC Bermuda Feb 21 2018

Her victim impact statement — which was printed in full by the Nottingham Post — said, “Things have not been the same since the 13th of February 2018. I mean the sounds of the ambulance frighten me often, especially if I’m away from any of my children. Seeing young boys often send me into space.

“I often picture Rico in his element with his friends. I sat and watched the movie and cried for the majority of the movie. The familiarity of a mother losing her son is what touched me.

“I feel as if the whole world knows my story and they are staring at me. It might be that nobody knows and maybe nobody cares. These are the type of thoughts that enter my mind every moment of every day.

“I try not to be afraid, but it’s only natural to feel all kinds of emotions. I have never experienced such devastating pain. I frequently get asked questions like ‘how are you coping?’ ‘how has this affected your family’ or I hear statements made like ‘if this happened to me, I would do this’ or ‘I would go crazy’.

“The truth is you don’t know what you would do when faced with something so tragic. In response to it all, I remain humble, but do I have a choice? I don’t. I’ve lost my son at such a young age in such tragic circumstances.

“I’ve watched my elders in Bermuda lose their sons to murder, even my own cousin and children’s uncle. Each time I heard of another murder my whole heart would crumble. I hated to see my family go through that. I always wished it would never happen to me.

Video, courtesy of the BBC, of Ms Steede speaking outside Court yesterday

“I am the youngest mother, if not one of them in my country, to lose my son to such cruelty. Acceptance is another part of this journey. This kind of pain has no real true answer as to how and what and why.

“Carrying my baby for nine months, bonding and growing with him during pregnancy, to then give birth and for him to spend life on earth, watching him grow for 17 years for others to decide that they want to brutally end his life.

“This has by far been the worst experience of my entire 36 years of living. Losing my son has shattered my family.

“I often glance at my girls and pray that they keep it together, which I know they would, because children often learn by example as I stand firm. That’s how Rico was; very confident, brave and humble.

“I can understand the admiration for him, this clearly led to envy. But to sit on top of him and cut him down knowingly, is utterly unacceptable.

“As a family, we have to now learn new ways of living without Lyrico. This takes skill, and I say that honestly and sternly. This kind of pain is not straightforward and simple.

“This is a family; a mother, a father, sisters, a nephew, grandparents, cousins, friends, uncles, aunts and godparents having to live with it.

“Life is difficult without my son, who was present for 17 years, who brought so much joy to my family. Who gives anyone the right to take matters into their hands as if they are God?

“No one day is the same for me anymore. Simple things around me remind me of Rico. I can be on the bus, simply taking my girls to school, and Rico comes into my thoughts.

“I just burst out in silent tears. Sometimes, in the evening, when we have all been out for dinner and the fact Rico is no longer with is, makes me bawl out silently, deeply from the pit of my belly.

“No one has the right to take my son away from me, away from his family and the people who loved him the most.

“The fear of losing anyone else close to me often pierces my thought, but I manage to bring myself back to a sound way of thinking. The emotions that come with this pain can be almost difficult at times to deal with. I try to remain peaceful.

“Rico lived with his father whilst I was in Bermuda. I came to the UK because my son asked me to and I had no problem in doing so. Initially, I felt sending him to the UK, so he could live with his father, would be great for his dad.

“I felt the two could bond and share father and son time. Rico also missed his sister who was also in the UK. For the entire three years of Lyrico being in the UK, we kept in touch on a daily basis.

“One summer Lyrico returned to Bermuda for the summer holidays. I remember this time like yesterday. He walked through the airport looking so tall and handsome. I stood there as he approached me and I cried, he’d grown up.

“Rico didn’t ask for much at all. It was very rare he asked and for that reason I would try my best to get what he asked for. His love for his family was nothing less than amazing.

“I couldn’t imagine if he called me and I didn’t come. I would have still been in Bermuda and would have had to travel hours just to deal with the worst news a mother can received.

“I give thanks for my love for my children and my own intuition that led me to come immediately.

“My faith is what sustains me and the love for myself, my daughters, my grandson, family and father.

“I promise you only the most high is pulling me through this and the fact that Lyrico would want me to keep my head high, my heart in love and keep moving forward. I hate to see my daughters and parents hurt from this.

“It breaks my heart, but in togetherness we all come together and console and lift each other up. I kept my children very close, so I can only imagine how it hurts them.

“I continuously ask who gives anyone the right to take my boy from me? My son’s murder was senseless and cruel.

“Some days I don’t even want to move, but I have my girls to look after. I cannot even go through this as some may. I have to be strong and I pray, what happened to my baby boy, and hope people’s eyes are opened to it.

“I pray that this ‘knife crime’ gets looked at one a larger scale, as I would hate to see another mother lose her son!!

“I say mother, because, we carry these children and closest to them first. So, yes, who gave you the right to take my boy away from me?

“There are days when I feel his presence so heavily, as if he’s right next to me. I picture him with a family, having a job and doing things young boys should do, but that’s all I have is a thought that can only now be put into action by his nephew, because he’s the young lion in the house now, who is so much like his uncle, so loving and wise.

“I provided a solid foundation for my children and I made sure they knew about God and his love. Lyrico could quote the Bible from young. This gives me a great sense of peace knowing he knew and believed in something greater than what our eyes see.

“I cannot really elaborate in words on how this has affected me, because the pain is indescribable, but I can say that I will not let the ignorance of others change who I am. May God continue to keep my son until that blessed day, may he continue to bless and strengthen everyone affected and may His love continue to shine through me.

“I feel that I am in another place with God, as I walk with my head held high, remain in love and not hate when the world would expect me to be so bitter.

“Indescribable pain is what I’ll feel for the rest of my life living in this cruel world. No one can begin to imagine the nightmare that has become a reality for me and my family. I ask was it worth it?

“This was planned and executed and the extent was proven in the outcome, to desperately seek out and end my son’s life.

“I’m exhausted with the thoughts that come with this kind of trauma. I feel unsafe and unable to trust the people around me. This has become a mother’s worst nightmare.

“I am a living testimony to this fact. No family deserves this and I feel justice will ultimately be served on the person who took my son’s young life.”

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