‘John had a huge heart and a cheeky smile’

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A grieving mum has spoken of her relief and heartbreak after a teenager was jailed for murdering her son.
Bradley Blundell was convicted last month of shooting John Pordage outside a Chelmsford petrol station in the early hours of August 5, 2017.
Blundell appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday, January 25, where he admitted a further two counts of possession of drugs with intent to supply, two counts of possession of a bladed article. He was jailed for life to serve a minimum of 22 years for murder.
John Pordage’s mum, Sue Wilson, said: “About 30 seconds was all it took for my entire world to be thrown into turmoil on August 5, 2017 when a 16-year-old boy and Bradley Blundell – armed with a cosh and a gun – attacked my son John.
“Since that day I have been so consumed with the twisted feelings of anger and hatred that I have struggled to function, let alone grieve for my son Johnny.
“Blundell and his pathetic little “gang” have even stolen my memories of John, as I have not been able to think about him without thinking of them, all their planning, escapes and covering their tracks, making me feel the bitterness I’ve become so familiar with.
“Since the word ‘guilty’ was repeated for all of the indictments against Blundell and Colgate, I have felt an overwhelming sense of relief.
“I have sat through two trials now, feeling a sense of helplessness, unable to tell the courtroom what my son was like.
“John had the type of infectious happiness that changed the atmosphere of whichever room he walked into.
“Yes he was a bull in a china shop in his light-hearted, fun-loving way, but he had a huge heart and would always have time for people. That’s why he was always late.
“It was impossible to be annoyed with John. He would turn up with that cheeky smile and flood you with his positive attitude and affection.
“John had a great collection of friends, some since the age of nine. Watching them carry my John’s coffin at his funeral was the most heart-breaking moment and one which now defines the rest of my life without him.

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“John was always looking ahead, planning for his future, setting a five-year plan. He had just moved into a house in an area near town that he wanted with his girlfriend Daisy, the start of a beautiful future.
“The Saturday before John was murdered was the last time I physically saw him, when we met in town. I didn’t know then, but that was the last time I saw my son alive, before Blundell shot him.
“I can see still him walking away up the high street with a ‘hi’ to people walking past him.”
Speaking about her son’s killer, she said: “Blundell was 17 at the time he shot John. A child. For me, the reality is that he and his gang were out at 2am committing crime whilst armed. Although they were kids in age, their actions on that night were not the actions of children.
“Blundell is evil and calculated. He left my son to die after shooting him in the heart. And over what? John had been laughing and joking with his friend when he and his gang came back to attack.
“And if that wasn’t enough, we heard how he knew exactly where to go to burn the evidence, he knew to wash himself down with petrol, snapped his phones, told others what to do, encouraged them to lie.
“He disposed of the gun – still not telling the police where this is.
“Then he went shopping, so he didn’t get in trouble with his girlfriend.
“This 17-year-old was going to spend hundreds of pounds on trainers while my John was lying in the mortuary.
“My son was murdered by a senseless, cruel hooligan that thought it was okay to go out with weapons and take an innocent person’s life. When Blundell and his friends have completed
their sentences, they will be able to carry on with their lives.
“John will never get to do any of the things he so enthusiastically planned.
“I will never again be able to feel the brightness that he brought to this world.
“My family and I will never be able to move on from this, but I am hopeful that we leave court today feeling that we have achieved justice for John.”
John’s sister Teri Pordage said: “My life will truly never be the same after losing my brother. It’s not just my brother Blundell killed, he killed a part of me.
“My mother will never be the same and I will go on through life having to know that she will always be sad and hurting inside. I am her daughter but I am not her son, so I will never be able to replace the pain she has lost. I feel like I have lost my brother and my mum all in one.
“My brother was my everything; we were so close, there was such a bond between us. We spent many hours talking about travelling culture and art.
“We pushed each other in life and always brought the positive side out in each other.
“I am so grateful for the last phone call that John made to me and my son on August 4, 2017 as we left for school and work that day. I will remember forever that our last words to each other were ‘I love you, see you at the weekend’”.

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