A MOTHER from Barry has used her experience of tragedy to help others.
Six years ago 18-year-old Conner Marshall was murdered by a complete stranger – David Braddon – who was on probation from prison at the time, due to drug offences and assaulting a police officer.
Braddon attacked Conner, from Barry, at Trecco caravan park in Porthcawl and was sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in prison, blaming his actions on ‘mistaken identity’.
The loss devastated Conner’s parents – Nadine and Richard Marshall – and younger siblings Jac and Georgia.
Along with dealing with the sudden loss, court case and inquest they then discovered that Braddon has been on probation at the time of the attack.
Nadine Marshall started her own group – A Voice for Conner – to help others and make a positive change.She is now in the running to be South Wales Police commissioner.
The other candidates for South Wales Police include Alun Michael (Labour), Michael Baker (Independent) and Carolyn Webster (Conservative).
Reflecting on Conner’s tragic death Ms Marshall said: “Some days it feels like it was six hours ago, not six years ago.
“I don’t think we’ll ever have closure on Conner’s death. We’ll never move on or get used to it.
“We were just a normal family doing normal family things and then, among that chaos, it was obliterated. It’s incomprehensible.
“I was determined to get answers on why and how such an awful thing happened to my son.
“It took almost five years to dig out the truth and hold people accountable. It was hard. It was emotionally exhausting and physically draining.”
When people suggested she could run for the role she shrugged it off at first, but the idea grew on her.
“I want to help other families and give the role a new perspective with a focus on transparency and accountability,” said Ms Marshall.
“I want to prevent crime with early initiatives and ensure an understanding of mental health. I want the voice of officers fairly represented and victims of crime represented properly.
“Some people are quick to disrespect police, but I know some very dedicated officers and have met some amazing victim liaison officers.
“Unfortunately in any service you will have good and bad, but it’s important in these cases to call it out and deal with it.”
The public can vote for a police and crime commissioner on May 6.
“It feels a bit like the first day of school feels,” admitted Ms Marshall.
“This is so far removed from anything I’ve done before – I don’t have a background in law or politics, but I’m determined and passionate.
“Family is first – people just want to be safe and know their family is safe.”
“I’m keen to hear people’s concerns on a local level. If it’s a big deal to them it can potentially take hold of their life which is it’s important to talk.”
People can contact Nadine Marshall via her Facebook @NadineMmarshall4pcc or Twitter @nmarshall4pcc or e-mail [email protected]