IT HAS been a harrowing few weeks for the family of Pennie Davis.

When they should have been gearing up for a big family celebration to mark her first wedding anniversary to her soul mate Pete, they have instead faced a traumatic trial to bring those responsible for her brutal killing to justice.

As if struggling to come to terms with the heartbreaking loss of their devoted mum, wife and sister was not bad enough, they have been forced to watch on in silence as the memory of the person they love has been attacked for all to hear during the court case.

For them it has been devastating to sit and hear Pennie described in a way they cannot recognise and hear aspects of her private life twisted and tainted to suit the needs of the defendants as they desperately tried to clear their name.

But now those responsible are facing years behind bars, her family are determined that the truth is finally heard and that Pennie is remembered for the “incredible woman” that she was.

The woman, who on the day before her murder stopped to give food to a homeless person, the woman who battled as a single mum to bring up five children, always putting their needs first and a woman who would open up her home to anyone who needed it and was always raising money for charity.

Her daughter Georga, 19, said: “It has been so frustrating to hear them talk about my mum like that, so the main thing is everyone knowing how much of an incredible person she was, because she really was.

“It's not easy to raise five children, be in and out of relationships and still being able to put your children first.

“She's always worked and she just never let anything hold her back.”

Pennie's sister Nicola added: “All her life she tried to do the best by her kids and sometimes she was up against massive obstacles, but she really fought it out.

“To hear some of that stuff used and turned around against her to imply that she was dishonest or unreliable was very upsetting.

“Anybody could be portrayed in a really negative light if people are determined to do that, so the most important thing is for people to know there were key things said which were completely untrue.

“I think Pennie had a very good reputation in the local area and was obviously well loved by many people, her funeral really showed that.

“People really felt someone very precious had been lost to us all and then the court case came along and they tried to tarnish her.

Bournemouth Echo:

Pennie's children Sophie, Alex and Georga

“But I don't think they can succeed because people know how she was and I was quite struck by how when they came out with some of the worst stuff about her, even people that didn't know her would go, that's rubbish.

“That's very helpful and reassuring and the people that did know her will prevail and that memory will prevail, no matter what they try to say about her to justify what they did.

“She was a worthy person and her whole life has gone now.”

Bournemouth Echo:

Pennie's husband Peter

The seven week trial has taken a huge toll, leaving them unable to sleep and forcing them to relive from scratch every detail of Pennie's horrific murder.

One of the hardest moments for her children was seeing the face of their mum's murderer for the first time as he took to the witness box, made worse by his vile behaviour.

Georga said: “I think the way he acted was disgusting, absolutely vile. He looked me right in the eye, it was awful.

“It's not right, he shouldn't feel he has the right to do that. As if we haven't been through enough he was putting us through more.”

But despite those responsible for cruelly taking her life are now facing long stretches in prison, her family know it will be a long road to reaching any sort of normality.

This time last year excitement filled their home as they had everything to look forward too, with the wedding on the horizon and Pennie facing promotion at her job at Sainsbury's in Blackfield.

Fast forward 12 months and that same family are broken - forced to face a future without their devoted mum, wife and sister.

Bournemouth Echo:

Pennie and her family in happier times

Georga said: “Carr has still got his mum and they will both still have people waiting for them outside.

“We have got to live here without her every single day. I don't think that is justice at all.”

Pete added: “Even if they get 30 years in prison they will still get the chance to come out and have families.

“I just hate everything at the moment because this time last year we had just paid for the wedding and everything was looking forward to the end of next month.

“Now I just hate everything. Going down to the horses, seeing people holding hands, enjoying the sun, it hurts because that's what me and Pennie used to do.

“And it is hard for the children too because they are all having their first birthday's without their mum and that is heartbreaking.”

It is the big milestones that are hitting them hardest, her eldest daughter Sophie was forced to spend her 21st birthday at court, Pennie wasn't there to see Alex, 20, at his Passing Out parade with the Navy and she won't be there to see Daniel at his prom when he leaves school this summer or Josef, 14 embark on his exams.

But as Sophie explains it is also the little every day things that they miss, such as their trips to Balmer Lawn in the summer.

She said: “One of the most upsetting things about not having a mum is that you can't hear stories about when you were little.

“She told us so many things, like who was the biggest baby and that's the stuff that we are never going to hear again.”

Pete added: “And her grandchildren will never get to meet their nan. She won't be there to tell them embarrassing stories about their mum and dad - it is things like that the kids are going to miss out on.

“And yet Carr had the spite to sit in the witness box and say that this had destroyed his family - well what does he thing he has done to ours?”

It was no surprise to the family that Carr was at the centre of the plot to kill Pennie, as he was the only person they could think of who had a grudge against her.

They have found it “ridiculous” that someone would want to do what they did to Pennie for the reasons they have heard in court but despite that, they know the right people are behind bars thanks to the compelling evidence and the witnesses who came forward.

Sophie added: “We just want to thank everyone who has come forward and come to court to help our mum. “Some technically grassed on their friends and we know it wasn't an easy thing for many of them to come to court, but everyone who has come forward has helped the case.”