THE heartbroken partner of a dad-of-two blasted to death with a sawn-off shotgun during a drug feud has spoken of the devastating impact of his murder.

Hemawand Ali Hussein was lured to his death by a rival drug gang when he was tricked into checking out the location for a new cannabis farm.

His partner, Jennifer Buller, portrayed another side to the 30-year-old when she spoke at Teesside Crown Court as Eugert Merizaj jailed for life for his role in the brutal slaying.

The Northern Echo: Hemawand Ali Hussein. Picture: CLEVELAND POLICEHemawand Ali Hussein. Picture: CLEVELAND POLICE

She said: "What has happened to Hammo (Hemawand) has crushed and devastated our family beyond measure. Our life has changed forever since he was taken away from us.

"He was a happy, laidback person, we loved each other and he was a brilliant father to our two young sons.

"Family and loyalty was very important to him, he had a close relationship with his parents and siblings in Kurdistan. He was loved and respected by the Kurdish community in the UK.

"Hearing that he had died was one of the worst moments of my life - I had to identify him in the mortuary, something which will haunt me for the rest of my life.

"I wasn't even able to hold him. I had to go home and tell our sons that their dad had been killed. To see their faces looking at me for answers I could not give them, was something no mother should have to go through."

Ms Buller said it was weeks before his body was returned to the family before being flown to Kurdistan for a Muslim funeral.

Read more: Man jailed for life after dad-of-two was blasted to death with sawn-off shotgun

She added: "My mental and physical health has been affected by what happened. I struggle to sleep and take medication for my anxiety. I also had to give up my business which has affected us financially.

"The impact on my sons has been devastating. They were only eight and ten when he died but they will struggle for the rest of their lives."

The Northern Echo: Eugert Merizaj. Picture: Cleveland PoliceEugert Merizaj. Picture: Cleveland Police

Eugert Merizaj played a pivotal part in persuading the 40-year-old to turn up Chapterhouse Street, Hartlepool, in September 2019, where he was shot at point blank range within moments of setting foot in the house.

Read more: Hunt continues for Hemawand Ali Hussein murder suspects

The judge, Honourable Mr Justice Nicholas Lavender QC, sentenced the defendant to a minimum of 32 years in custody.

Merizaj, of Montague Street, Leicester, was found guilty of murder last month.

Cleveland Police are still hunting three men wanted in connection with the brutal murder of Mr Hussein.

The men they would like to speak to are Sajmir Dodoveci, 36, 30-year-old Daniel Kadiu, and Armando Marku, 22. However police believe these individuals may also be known by other names.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated Teesside Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on newsdesk@nne.co.uk or contact 01325 505054