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I can never, ever forgive him...my daughter was in love with him.

Byline: Sophie Doughty Crime Reporter sophie.doughty@ncjmedia.co.uk

SHE welcomed her daughter's mysterious new love into her home and made him part of the family.

But Valerie Anderson could never have imagined the man Samantha met on a night out would one day take her girl's life in a ferocious stab attack.

Nursery nurse Samantha was smitten after meeting Iraqi Ari Abdullah in a bar.

And after a whirlwind romance the body-building asylum seeker moved into his new girlfriend's family home and quickly asked her to marry him.

Samantha's parents Peter and Valerie had reservations about the stranger who had captured their eldest daughter's heart.

But never in their worst nightmares would they have thought Abdullah would kill her.

However, after they split, jealous Abdullah stabbed Samantha 14 times at the Newcastle flat they once shared..

Abdullah was jailed for life after pleading guilty to Samantha's murder but his victim's devastated family have never spoken of the tragedy until today.

In the second part of our Crime: The Victims' Stories series Valerie and Peter opened up about their loss.

Valerie, 56, said: "I never once thought he would do anything to harm her. He was with her for three years and was engaged to her. I welcomed him into my family. I will never ever forgive him."

Samantha grew up in Cramlington with her mum, dad, brother Gary and sisters Dawn and Jacqueline. At 18 she decided she wanted to work with children and got a job at the Buffer Bear Nursery, near Newcastle Central Station, as she studied for her childcare qualifi-cations.

"She had found her vocation," said Valerie. "I think that's what she wanted to do for the rest of her life." Fun-loving Samantha also loved to go out with her friends and family. And it was during a night out, in 2003, she met Abdullah in the now closed Buffalo Joes bar, on Gateshead Quayside.

"From the start she seemed to really love him," said Valerie. "He got a job in Cramlington so he came to live with us."

However, Samantha's dad Pater, now 58, had suspicions.

"We didn't know anything about his background," he said. "I always got the feeling he had a hidden agenda. He used to go outside to make private phonecalls and one day he asked me for a picture of the whole family, which was very strange.

"But she was very much in love with him. We knew she was a grown woman and he had to accept her choices."

Samantha and Abdullah moved in to a flat at Vallum Court in Newcastle's West End, and less two years after meeting they were engaged.

"He seemed to really want to get married, but I said to Samantha: 'It's too soon'" said Valerie. "I just thought there must be a reason why he wanted to get married so soon."

Peter added: "She was blinkered though. She was in love with him and she couldn't understand what people on the outside were seeing."

Samantha's parents watched as her boyfriend became more and more controlling. He took charge of her money, and did not like it when she went out without him.

But in July 2006 their relationship came to an end when Abdullah, then 30, became violent.

Samantha, 29, moved back into her parents' home after Abdullah was cautioned for an assault against her.

She went on holiday, began enjoying her nights out again, and began seeing a new man, John McGregor a chef from Scotland.

"She seemed immediately happier," said Valerie. "It was just such a relief when she came back. We thought it was over."

But a twist of fate led Samantha back to the flat she had shared with her ex, on October 30, 2006.

Samantha told her family she was going to call in after work to pick up her post because her bank told her a replacement cash card had been sent there. But she failed to return home.

"I sent her a text, but then I realised she had left her phone in the kitchen," Valerie said.

"Then I started phoning her friends from the nursery. They kept saying: 'I hope she hasn't got back with him.'" Valerie went to work the next day suspecting her daughter had decided to stay with her ex. But at midday police turned up to deliver the horrific news Samantha was dead. "They took me into a room at work and the police were there," said Valerie. "I just collapsed when they told me."

The days and weeks that followed remain a blur. The family sat together at Newcastle Crown Court as details of Samantha's horrific murder were revealed during Abdullah's sentencing hearing.

The factory worker had flown into a violent rage and hit Samantha about the head with a weight-lifting belt before grabbing the knife and stabbing her repeatedly.

Abdullah, who had downed a bottle of whisky, doused her and the bloodstained flat with petrol in a bid to cover his tracks.

But he never lit the fuel and was found slumped with self-inflicted knife wounds beside Samantha's body hours after the killing.

Judge John Milford, who said he gave Abdullah credit for his guilty plea to murder and good work record since arriving in the North East in 2002, ordered he must serve a minimum of 11 years eight months.

"We were absolutely disgusted," said Valerie. "Hearing all of that in court was awful. He just sat there with his head down."

Knowing her daughter's killer will be deported once he's released from jail, Valerie now tries to focus on the happy memories she has with Samantha. "There are so many 'what ifs.' .' What if she had never met him? What if she had had changed her address with her bank? Or what if I had gone with her that day? "The grief doesn't get easier though. It gets harder. It's there all the time.

"We were more like best friends than mother and daughter. And I just keep thinking about all the things she's missing out on.

"You see people all the time and they ask about your family, then ask about Samantha and you have to explain what happened over and over again."

CAPTION(S):

Valerie Anderson has spoken publicly for the first time about the murder of he daughter Samantha. She wa skilled by |Ari Abdullah, inset. Valerie and nurssery nurse Samanth on a fun night out
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 22, 2014
Words:1072
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