The grieving daughter of a murdered Derby grandfather said her “funny and caring” father Karl Taylor was “her rock”.
In a moving victim impact statement read to a court Kaylie Bruce told how the 43-year-old’s horrific killing means it now breaks her heart when she tells her almost three-year-old daughter that her granddad is “up in the sky”.
And Mr Taylor’s partner bravely fought back tears as she read her own statement to the court saying how “inside I am broken” at her loss which “will never go away”.
On Thursday afternoon, at Derby Crown Court, 20-year-old Mateusz Maciejewski showed no emotion as he was jailed for life for murder and told it would be 22 years until he will be eligible to apply for parole.
Maciejewski, of Shakespeare Street, Sinfin, went to Mr Taylor’s Uttoxeter Road flat with three other men to accuse him of earlier that day stealing two cans of beer from the Premier Store on the other side of the street.
During the confrontation the killer twice stabbed Mr Taylor, who died two weeks later in hospital.
In her statement, read to the court by prosecutor James House QC, Kaylie said: “I wish the police had been called by the Premier Store, that’s what should have been done.
“Instead my dad lost his life over two cans.
“I sat at his bedside every day at the QMC and I really thought he was going to pull through.
“But too much damage had been done.
“We always had a drink and a laugh together, he was a funny and caring dad and he was my rock.
“My daughter always asks where grandad is and I say ‘he is in the sky now’ and it breaks my heart that she will never get to know him.”
A near month-long trial, at Nottingham Crown Court heard how the group went to confront Mr Taylor on the afternoon of December 8, 2019.
Mr Taylor spent two weeks in intensive care and in the early hours of Boxing Day his family had to make the heart-breaking decision to switch his life support machine off.
His partner, Lisa Borrington, sobbed as she read her own victim impact statement to the court.
In it she said: “He was the kindest person I have ever known, my friend and lifelong partner of 15 years.
“Inside I am broken, I will always be broken.
“When I wake up in the morning, I keep my eyes closed as long as possible hoping hoping Karl will still be by my side.
“But he’s never there.”
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And Jenny Taylor, Mr Taylor’s mother, also had her victim personal statement read to the court.
In it she said: “Karl was my only child and the day he died my heart died too.
“I feel a lot of hurt and anger that I will never get to see his face again.
“We will never get to celebrate Christmas again because he died on Boxing Day.
“My last words to him were ‘it’s time to sleep now, Karl’ because I knew he was dying.
Three other men who were on trial for Mr Taylor’s murder – Callum McConnell, 21, of Ednaston Avenue, Littleover and brothers Gursimran Mann, 21, and Sahib Mann, 23, both of Hollowood Avenue, Littleover and whose family owned the Premier Stores the victim stole from – were each found not guilty of murder by the same jury.