'You should never have to bury your own child': Archie Spriggs' dad tells of his devastation

The father of Archie Spriggs, the seven-year-old Shropshire boy murdered by his own mother in the midst of a bitter custody battle, today spoke of his devastation.

Matthew Spriggs said this afternoon: "The loss of Archie is, and continues to be, completely devastating to the whole family and we would like to ask for our privacy to continue to be respected.

"You should never have to bury your own child."

Archie's mother, Lesley Speed, 44, of Rushbury, near Church Stretton, strangled the youngster with a scarf and smothered him with a cushion on September 21 last year. She feared that Mr Spriggs, would be granted custody of the youngster, Birmingham Crown Court, was told.

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Speed was today found guilty of murdering Archie and will be sentenced on Tuesday.

Lesley Speed

Following today's unanimous guilty verdict, Superintendent Jason Wells, West Mercia Policing Commander for Shropshire, said: "This was a difficult and distressing investigation from the outset, as Archie's life was taken at such a young age.

"We have supported Archie's family at every stage of the investigation and admire the strength and courage they have shown throughout. We extend our sincerest condolences to them and would continue to ask that the media respect their privacy at this incredibly difficult time.

"I would like to thank everyone who worked on the investigation in order to bring it to court. We understand the impact this case has had on the small community of Rushbury and in particular Archie's school.

"Our thoughts remain with everyone who has been affected by this extremely tragic case."

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