The mother of murdered Tui travel agent Cassie Hayes was quoted over the weekend as saying it has been “like living in a nightmare” since her daughter’s death a year ago.
The 28-year-old was killed at her agency branch 12 months ago in what a judge called a “cold-blooded execution in public” by her lover’s ex-partner Andrew Burke.
Burke slit Cassie’s throat in front of horrified customers, including families with young children, at the travel shop in Southport. He was jailed for a minimum of 26 years at Liverpool Crown Court.
A court heard how events “turned toxic” in the lead up to the murder after the jealous killer realised Cassie had begun a relationship with his ex Laura Williams, then 29.
In 2017, Burke admitted sending malicious communications and was fined and warned to keep away from Cassie after threatening to kill her.
The first anniversary of the assistant manager’s death was marked by a sponsored walk by friends and family.
Sixty walkers gathered at Alnwick Moor, Northumberland, for a six-mile hike to mark Cassie’s death.
She said her daughter’s death was never far from her mind.
The 54-year-old told The Mirror: “It is hard to describe in words.
“It is like living in a nightmare, really. Some days it is extremely difficult to get on with life.
“Other days are all right, but on some I can’t focus on anything. It makes you keep going, doing things positive like the walk over the weekend.”
“It was a brilliant day, Abta and victim support have been brilliant with us and we wanted to give something back to them. Abta LifeLine paid for Cassie’s celebration and funeral.”
Loved ones wore yellow – Cassie’s favourite colour – for the walk last week.
Tracy added: “She is on my mind all the time, we want to keep Cassie’s memory alive.
“It was nice to see everybody in yellow and it made me realise how much she was loved.
“We are all very close, we were all remembering her and talking about her.
“The Tui girls call themselves ‘Cassie’s Army’.”
“A couple of them are getting tattoos of daffodils.
“On the stalk of the flower they are getting Cassie’s name written.
“A couple of weeks ago one of the girls got that done.
“It means the world to me, it touches my heart.”
Among those walking were Cassie’s daughter Ruby, five, sister Nadine, 33, her grandmother Laura Fife, 83, nephew Leon, two, and niece Daisy, five.
The two customers who Cassie was serving when she was murdered also travelled from Southport to take part in the hike, which was organised by Tracy and Nadine.
Tracy said: “The walk has picked me up a little bit. We are going to plan another big event in the summer.
“It was lovely, it brought a lot of memories back.
“We used to walk up there a lot when Cassie was a child.
“We are planning on getting a big cheque made of the total.
“I want to say thank you to everybody who donated and walked, helped with it and all of our family and friends.”
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