'The day Mikey was killed, my life changed forever'

Hayley Ryall was on a work trip in Birmingham when she received the phone call that changed her life forever.

Her 16-year-old son, Mikey Roynon, from Kingswood in Bristol, had been stabbed with a zombie knife at a house party in Bath.

She remembers the 37 missed calls and the excruciating three hour long taxi ride back to Bristol, during which she prayed that it had all been a mistake.

But Mikey died from a single 9.5cm (3.7in) stab wound to his neck on 10 June 2023.

Earlier, Shane Cunningham, 16, was detained for life for Mikey's murder.

His two friends, Leo Knight and Cartel Bushnell, also 16, were jailed for nine years and six months and nine years, respectively, for manslaughter.

During the sentencing at Bristol Crown Court, the judge MrJustice Saini lifted the teenagers' right to anonymity.

Speaking afterwards, Hayley described her son as "fun, fearless and loving".

The mother cried as her victim impact statement was read out to the court on her behalf.

She wrote that she found it hard to look at pictures of her son, knowing she will never see his face again.

"The day my Mikey was killed, my life changed forever," she said.

She described the impact Mikey's death has had on her and how difficult she found what would have been Mikey's 17th birthday in November.

“I feel like I’m living in a film or a nightmare and soon I’ll wake up and I’ll be able to hug and kiss him and Mikey will say 'it’s OK mum',” she said.

Hayley also explained how difficult it has been to attend court for the trial.

"Court has been horrendous...I feel physical pain in my neck," she said.

"Every time I see the CCTV footage [of him on the bus] I want to scream 'get off the bus'.

“Will justice help me? I don’t know and I’m not even sure I want to know because life will never be normal again.”

The three 16-year old boys were found guilty of killing Mikey in March.

Cunningham was found guilty of murder in a unanimous verdict, while his two accomplices were found guilty of manslaughter.

They both claimed they had acted in self defence during the trial.

Mikey's father Michael, also known as Spike, said in a statement: "I saw Mikey a couple of months before he died. We were constantly in touch on the phone. We were like buddies and called each other buddy.

"I can only hope as time goes on, I can find a way to rebuild a life which has been shattered."

Six people arriving at Bristol Crown Court for the Mikey Roynon's murder trial
Mikey Roynon's family arrived at Bristol Crown Court for the sentencing [BBC]

Mikey's Grandmother, Teresa Owen, added she would "swap places with Mikey in a heartbeat".

"Mikey was such a huge part of my life. I’m haunted by nightmares of Mikey’s murder," she said.

"I feel the pain and sorrow is the only constant in my life.

"At some point in the future, the people responsible for his death will have a chance to start their lives again.

"Where is Mikey’s fresh start? My life cannot and will never be fixed."

During the trial, the jury were shown footage of a group of teenage boys boarding a bus toward the house party in Bath.

Police said about 70 young people from Bristol, Bath and further afield came to the house.

According to the prosecution, the three boys found guilty of killing Mikey arrived at the party armed.

They were captured on CCTV, travelling from Wiltshire to Bath, with what appeared to be sharp objects visible underneath their clothing.

Speaking after the sentencing, Hayley said she was pleased with the outcome - but added that it was a disgrace that knives were brought to a 16th birthday party.

She advised parents to be open with their children about knife crime.

"Speak to them about it. Let them know about the devastation. It needs to be talked about," she said.

"Look what can happen. You don't just ruin one life. There are hundreds of us that have had our lives taken in different ways."

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