'Brent was our glue': Family reacts to guilty verdict

The family of Brent Andrew Bacon who was beaten to death with a cricket bat by John Kenneth Collins say they will never get over the pain of their loss.

The victim’s sister Lia Bezett spoke outside court about the pain caused by the murder, which would always be a part of their lives.

“The actions of the defendant were callous, barbaric and cruel and have ripped our lives apart. We as a family, which includes Brent’s three precious children, will never get over this. Our wounds will weep forever,” she said.

Lia Bezett, sister of murder victim Brent Bacon, and her husband Sam Bezett, outside the Dunedin District Court today. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
Lia Bezett, sister of murder victim Brent Bacon, and her husband Sam Bezett, outside the Dunedin District Court today. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
“This verdict, while bringing family and friends some relief, will not reduce the pain and suffering we’ve had to endure over the past two years and beyond.”

Ms Bezett described Mr Bacon as funny, intelligent and loyal.

“He saw the best in everyone and had an intense desire to connect with others. He sought and craved people, love and meaning in his life. Brent was our glue, he made our family stronger. His presence will be sorely missed forever,” she said.

Ms Bezett paid tribute to the work of the police and prosecutors for the sensitive way in which they had dealt with the case.

And she was keen to thank those in the wider community who had shown their support for the grieving family.

“We’ve felt ever ounce of your compassion and outpouring of love. This has truly softened what has otherwise been a tragic blow,” she said.

Collins and his wife, 32-year-old Aleisha Dawson, moved to a state-housing unit in Lock St, St Clair in November 2018 and soon reconnected with the victim having spent time with him while they lived in Christchurch.

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