The son of Warren Free (42) claims his life has been “ruined” after the violent death of his dad.
Adam Free (13), daughter Zoe (21) and parents George (65) and Stephanie (62) have spoken after a jury found six teenagers, aged between 14 and 18, not guilty on Friday of the murder and manslaughter of Mr Free who was attacked outside his Spalding home last August.
Not only did we lose our dad, but he was also a son, brother, uncle and soon-to-be a grandad.Warren Free’s daughter Zoe
The family, also including Mr Free’s sister Bernice Medford (45) and husband Tim (50), niece Adel Free-Medford (23) and nephew George (20), opened their hearts to the Spalding Guardian just days after the five-week trial ended with what they called a “deeply unhappy outcome”.
Adam said: “Me and my dad had a really good relationship and by him going, I feel like I’ve lost my best friend.
“After Dad died, I just came into a house full of complete strangers and in my eyes, I didn’t know anything about them.
“Dad was kind, respectful and always put his family first, so what his death has really done is ruined my life.”
George and Stephanie revealed that their son’s death came 11 years after Mr Free was viciously attacked while living in North Wales, leaving him with deep scars to his head, partially sighted in his right eye and the onset of both post-traumatic stress disorder and epilepsy.
“After the attack in 2003, Warren moved to Spalding and for quite a few years, we always spent Christmas together,” George said.
“We’d go down the pub and have a laugh, talking about England playing rugby and cricket.
“Then we moved to Portugal in March 2014, but we were in contact all the time and our son made a promise last year that he would come out and spend Christmas with us.
“He’d got his passport and he was going to get Adam’s but unfortunately Christmas was completely cancelled last year and we never celebrated it.”
Mr Free’s death was the second tragedy to hit the family after his brother Steven (34) died of brain injuries in March 2007, three weeks on from an “altercation” in a pub in Reading.
Stephanie said: “We’re all angry about it but we’ve just got to turn round and get on with our lives, remembering our son Warren for who he was.”
Meanwhile, Zoe has revealed that Mr Free would have become a ‘proud grandad’ this year if it wasn’t for his tragic death.
In a post on social media website Spotted Spalding, Zoe also revealed that her dad’s death had left her “in so much grief” that it resulted in the loss of her job, career and horse.
A jury of six men and six women found a group of six teenagers not guilty of Mr Free’s murder and manslaughter on Friday after a five-week trial at Lincoln Crown Court.
Zoe, who lives in Colwyn Bay, North Wales, said: “My dad was Warren Free and he was always in my life, so I would just like my voice to be heard by people.
“Not only did we lose our dad, but he was also a son, brother, uncle and soon to be a grandad.
“My dad loved his family, he loved his kids and he also had a very fond love for Wales.
“Dad always said how beautiful the mountains were and how he would return to live here again someday.
“He rang and texted me everyday and he would never miss a day.
“Dad helped people who wouldn’t be looked at twice by some and he would always give what he could, even if he had nothing left for himself.
“Also, my dad would have been a proud grandad this year - but I never got the chance to tell him.
“All I wanted was to tell him as he would have been over the moon to know that he was going to be a grandad.
“But my son will never meet him and all I have now are stories to be told to him.
“Losing my dad left me in so much grief that I lost my job, career and my horse so I was punished enough just from that.
“I just want to thank everyone who has followed my dad’s case and story.
“I hope my dad has found peace in heaven as I know he is watching over his kids.”
Timeline for the Warren Free case
l August 28, 2014 - A man in his 40s is airlifted to hospital with a head injury after being found at home in Coronation Close, Spalding.
l August 29, 2014 - A murder enquiry is launched after Warren Free (42) dies in hospital and police arrest two girls and a boy in connection with his death.
l August 30 2014 - Four more boys are arrested in connection with the murder enquiry.
l November 13, December 16 and 30, 2014 - Six teenagers, two girls and four boys, are charged with Mr Free’s murder.
l June 15, 2015 - The trial begins of six teenagers who all plead not guilty to murder.
l July 24, 2015 - A jury finds the teenagers not guilty of murder and manslaughter at Lincoln Crown Court.