A mother has spoken of her anguish at finding out her daughter’s killer allegedly boasted of his crime in prison.
More than 10 years ago Catherine Broomfield received the devastating news that her daughter Kirsty Grabham, 23, was dead.
Kirsty’s body was found in a suitcase along the side of the M4 near Bridgend in Wales.
Her husband, Paul Grabham, had thrown the case out of a car window.
Before putting Kirsty into the suitcase, Grabham, whom she had married only months earlier, had tried to cut her in half, reports WalesOnline
When Kirsty was found in the suitcase alongside the motorway her body was still warm.
The couple were last seen together having a row during a night out in Swansea.
Grabham is thought to have killed his wife as she arrived home after him, battering and strangling her to death in the flat.
He was later tried at Swansea Crown Court. He denied murder, but was convicted and jailed for a minimum of 19 years.
Now, twelve years later, the family has been dealt another blow.
Still trying to come to terms with their grief, they noticed at the beginning of July 2021 that a documentary about Kirsty’s murder was available for the public to watch, against the family’s wishes.
Worst of all, below the video, Catherine found a comment claiming to be written by a person who had spent time in prison with Grabham, which she said has left her in “a very deep, dark place”.
In the comment, the person claimed that Grabham boasted about killing Kirsty during the time they were in prison together.
“It made me feel sick, absolutely sick to the stomach,” said Catherine, describing her reaction to the comment.
The entire ordeal is something Catherine is unable to forget.
And now, she explained, the information she has about her daughter’s killer allegedly boasting about her murder in prison has left the family dealing with a fresh wave of anger and grief.
“The more I hear about him, the more I hate him,” said Catherine.
“You just think there can’t be people like that in the world, it’s impossible.
“Reading that [the comment], I couldn’t believe it.”
In the years following Kirsty’s death, life has changed immeasurably for the Broomfield family.
Releasing a book about her loss three years ago, Catherine has spent much of her time helping other vulnerable people in abusive relationships who have felt they could reach out to her.
“I’ve been trying to forget my grief and help other people with their grief,” said Catherine.
Because she is so vocal on the issue, Catherine has found that people in vulnerable situations across the UK reach out to her as a person they hope will be able to understand.
“About six years ago, I got one [woman] to leave her violent, abusive husband,” said Catherine.
“I explained what happened to Kirsty and what could happen to her if he was violent like that.
“And she did, in the end, decide to leave him and went into a women’s refuge. And [now] she’s got a beautiful house in a beautiful place and her and her children have never been so happy.
“She keeps sending me messages saying ‘thank you so much, you don’t know what you’ve done’.”
Catherine added: “It doesn’t make Kirsty’s death any less important, but if I can stop anybody else from ending up like Kirsty then it is worth it.”
Tragically for Catherine, Kirsty’s older sister Hayley also died just five years after her sibling after struggling with alcohol addiction.
“Hayley was such a lovely, vibrant soul,” said Catherine, describing her daughter.
“She was a people pleaser, you know?”
She firmly believes Grabham is responsible for both of her daughters’ deaths, stating that Hayley’s drinking was a result of coping with what happened to her little sister.
Catherine described how her two daughters were inseparable right up until Kirsty’s death.
“She was only 16 months older than Kirsty, so when they were growing up they were dressed the same, they were in the same buggy, and everybody used to ask if they were twins!”
Hayley, devoted to her little sister, was never the same after her death.
“That’s when Hayley went downhill,” said Catherine. “The day Kirsty died, I think Hayley died that day as well.”
More than a decade since Kirsty’s murder, and seven years since Hayley’s death, Catherine said her feeling of loss is as strong as ever. In addition to the fresh wave of grief, she has also found herself with renewed fears about her family’s safety.
“I want him to be moved to another prison,” said Catherine.
“All the mental problems I had after he did what he did… They’ve all come back to the surface. I’m just a nervous wreck now.”
Catherine is so scared of the prospect of Grabham being released from prison in the future that she is even considering moving away from Swansea – her home of 23 years.
“Even though we’ve been here since 1998, I feel we have to move. He’s basically driving us out of our home,” said Catherine.
“That means I’m leaving Kirsty behind on her own in a graveyard. And that’s the thing that hurts.”
She added: “It would make me feel sick, just him being around this area… He’s not even sorry for what he’s done. There’s no repentance in him at all.”