THE daughter of William Lewis told a court her family had been torn apart by the actions of Richard Huitson.

Melanie Segrave's heartbreaking statement was read out in Teesside Crown Court before Huitson was jailed for six years and eight months for killing her father in August.

She wrote: "As a person Billy was a strong, hardworking, kind, loving, patient and, funny man; who doted on his family. How empty our lives are without him is indescribable and what we miss about him is simply everything.

"From his unique fashion sense of double denim with white trainers and his famous chicken soup recipe; to the endless supply of the veggies from his garden.

"We will never be woken by him on Christmas morning to the sound of Jive Bunny being played at full volume or hear his stories of Charlie Fisherman; a fictional character he created to entertain the kids. Just some of the family traditions that simply won’t be the same without him. His great grandbabies have been robbed of this pleasure.

"He found so much pleasure in his grandchildren and his little ladies – great granddaughters. No matter what kind of day he was having, the children always made his day; he excelled at being a granddad.

"He was a jack of all trades and our resident handyman there was nothing he could not turn his hand to. He loved to potter around in the garden. He also loved doing Sudoku, but most of all he loved being with his family. He was at his happiest when the house was full and the kids where around.

"Every time he went out he would come back with a little treat for them. He was great at teaching the kids everything from all of the colours to their time tables and even how to tile a bathroom floor.

"The love for him was not exclusive to our family and this was displayed publicly at his funeral. The amount of people who approached us to tell us how infectious he was, truly was heart-warming. We as a family knew this as we could not walk down the street without him bumping into someone he knew.

"He was the person we went to for anything and everything.

"Our family has been irreversibly broken, out loss felt every day and what makes it so much more difficult to comprehend is that the whole incident was unnecessary.

"We respect the court decision but nothing can even compare to the life sentence we as a family are starting."