The mother of murder victim Gary Bennett described today's verdict as “the best news I could have heard”.

Mrs Bennett, 81, said: “It is justice for Gary but it won't bring him back. I have my son's ashes scattered around a tree at home and that will have to do for me now.

"I miss Gary so much - he was such a good son to me and was well liked by everyone who knew him. I will never understand how this man took Gary away from us so cruelly. He did not deserve to die in the way he did. You wouldn't leave a dog like that, lying in a pool of their own blood.

"They should lock Felisi up and throw away the key – he deserves the 22 years. I hope I can move on now - it is a relief, it is very good.”

Julian Felisi was sentenced to 22 years in prison for the murder of his colleague who was found dead in Aldenham Country Park in February.

Mrs Bennett's daughter Janet added: “It was very emotional but it was the verdict we wanted. It felt good.”

Earlier, Mrs Bennett described the grief she has felt since the day of his death as “like being in a fog”.

She lived with her son his whole life but said she has had to take “every day as it comes” since his death on February 24.

She said: “I still look at the door and expect him to walk in. He used to help me when I did the ironing and I think of him now when I do it. We were very close. Christmas won't be Christmas this year.”

Mrs Bennett described her son as a “very loving, very happy man” with whom she would take the bus on day trips to places including Margate and Ramsgate.

She said: “We used to like those trips. He'd come in and say 'I've got the tickets mum, you get the dinner'.

“He used to tease me, he would come in from work and say 'have you been hang-gliding mum?' I'd say no I've been working.

“He was very helpful, he'd go down the shops for the neighbours, he'd been in every house down our block.”

Mrs Bennett said she remembers the moment police came to her door to tell her Gary never turned up for work.

“I thought they were Jehovah's Witnesses so I didn't answer the door at first. When they came back I thought it was strange.

“They told me they weren't exactly sure but they had an idea it was Gary who was found in the park. I knew he didn't take his bike that morning and he hadn't left at the normal time so I knew it must have been him.

“You think he's had an accident or something not that he's been murdered – you never think anything like that can happen to you.”

Mrs Bennett said she has nothing but fond memories of her son, but that they have not helped her to cope since the devastating news.

She said: “It has left me with lots of questions, the biggest one being why? If a son of mine did something like this I'd disown him – Gary would never hurt a fly.

“My family has been very supportive along with the police. I'd hoped the trial would be the start of me getting better – it can never repair the damage but hopefully it will give us some closure.”