Shropshire Star

'Our Georgia deserves a voice': Parents to release powerful memoir ten years on since murder of teenage daughter

"Our Georgia deserves to have a voice. We want to set the record straight".

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'Our Georgia' is being released to commemorate ten years since her life was cruelly taken

That is the aim of heartbroken parents Lynnette and Steve Williams almost ten years on from their daughter's murder.

The couple have spoken to the Star as they are about to release a powerful memoir on the life and devastating loss of their beloved 17-year-old.

The shocking murder rocked the entire Telford community as it was later revealed Georgia's sadistic killer Jamie Reynolds should and could have been stopped.

Now, Georgia's parents have poured over the tragedy that destroyed their lives and put it down on paper.

'Our Georgia' has been written by Lynnette with the help of Steve, journalist Robin Eveleigh and support of their other daughter Scarlett.

Steve and Lynnette Williams as a serious case review was held into how police and other agencies dealt with Reynolds in the years before Georgia's murder
'Our Georgia' is being released to commemorate ten years since her life was cruelly taken
Georgia's parents Steve and Lynnette Williams
Sadistic killer Jamie Reynolds

For Steve and Lynnette the years have not become any easier since the cruel loss of Georgia.

Reports and hearings have highlighted the serious failings by West Mercia Police, social workers and mental health professionals to stop Reynolds in the years before he took Georgia's life.

He had been known to police and other agencies for more than five years before the fatal attack. But they failed to act and a case file on him was closed in 2010, three years before he strangled the Wellington teenager.

There were concerns about his sexual behaviour and his mental health.

The couple described Reynolds as a "murderer in the making" that destroyed their family.

He was arrested, convicted and sentenced to a full life term in prison for the murder of the former head girl at Ercall Wood Technology College. He appealed his life sentence but it was refused.

To make matters even harder, at the time of Georgia’s disappearance, Steve was a highly commended murder detective serving with West Mercia Police – the same force that had failed his little girl.

Apologies were made along with promises of 'lessons will be learned' but Georgia's parents said nothing would ever be enough.

The book will be released on May 25 to commemorate Georgia 10 years after her life was cruelly taken away.

Publisher Mardle Books described the book as "a shocking indictment of young women failed by the authorities who should have been protecting them".

The book details the aftermath of her murder and probes West Mercia Police's failings to stop Reynolds in the years before he killed Georgia and how he was able to infiltrate their daughter’s life and allowed him to kill.

The couple, who now live near to Market Drayton, even moved out of Telford to see if a fresh start would help them to ease their grief.

Lynnette said: “When you consider the enormity of the crime against Georgia, it should have been nationwide front page news. The public deserves to know what happened to her, as well as the failures and real attitudes of the authorities that we all entrust our care to.

"Our story shows this can happen to any family and reveals how justice is hard won, but with little consequence to the offending authorities.

"Mardle Books have given us and Georgia a voice, which we know she would thank them for.”

She added: "I watch the news and can see these issues are still relevant now. Police forces apologising for mistakes and saying 'lessons will be learned' - but the problem is, they aren't.

"We want people to know how difficult it has been. Everyone kept saying to us, 'you should write a book, it's unbelievable what's happened to you'.

"We decided to take the plunge and do it, it's taken hours of meetings and Zoom calls. It's been a battle to find a publisher but here we are now ready to go."

She added: "It has helped us in the way it has given Georgia and us a voice away from all of the headlines. We were just a normal family, Georgia was a happy, normal teenager, in a funny sort of way, when our world was destroyed.

"Our story is not a straightforward one but I hope this book will help people see that and help anyone else unfortunate enough to be in our position."

Lynnette said: "We don't really move on I don't think. We have moved out of Telford to see if that would help to give us a bit more freedom, we live next to nature now."

The couple struggle daily with their never-ending grief over Georgia but find solace in the Georgia Williams Trust, which was set up in the wake of their daughter’s death and is still going from strength to strength.

The aim of the Trust is to generate funds and activities to enable young people to participate in life-building activities. To date, it has helped hundreds of children across Telford & Wrekin reach their potential.

Reynolds, who had worked in a shop, was sentenced in December 2013 when he became the 46th person to be handed a whole-life term and one of the youngest in history.

Three days after she vanished, Reynolds was arrested at a budget hotel in Scotland. On May 31, Georgia's body was found in woodland near Wrexham, around 50 miles from her home.

The aftershocks of the murder are still felt. Georgia and Reynolds knew one another because they grew up in the same community and lived in close proximity, but he took advantage of their friendship to lure her to his home on the pretence of assisting him with a photo shoot.

He persuaded her to pose for a photograph with her head in a noose before killing her.

Since the investigation, a number of key changes have been made to the way that officers handle future cases like this. There were two reports including an inquiry held by Devon and Cornwall Police.

For Steve and Lynnette, writing a book about their horrific experience is just a small way to get their own story heard and put the record straight.

'Our Georgia' is available to pre-order on Amazon and will be available to purchase at all major book shops.

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