The parents of India Chipchase have paid emotional tributes to their “loving, kind and beautiful” daughter.
Edward Tenniswood, aged 52, of Stanley Road, was today convicted of the rape and murder of Miss Chipchase, aged 20.
After the jury announced their verdict, Christopher Donnellan QC, prosecuting, read out a statement from India’s mum, Sue Chipchase.
She said: “India was my first born on Christmas Eve 1995 and this year would have been her 21st birthday. But as a family we will not be celebrating her birthday this year or any other year to come.
“India loved Christmas and it was always a special time of year for us all. India loved to make Christmas special.
“She was such a huge part of our lives. For the sake of her siblings we must try to enjoy it but it will never be the same again.
“India was very much a homebird always flying back home. Her brothers and sisters were very important to her. As a mother I had a special bond with India.
“She was loving kind and beautiful inside and out. Like many young people she did not really know what she wanted to do but in the weeks before her death she decided she wanted to pursue a career as a paramedic.
“She cared about other people and would have been excellent in her chosen job. India was such a vibrant person and our house was noisy and chaotic and there was never a dull moment when she was around.
“Her death has left such a huge void in our lives. Her siblings are quiet and subdued without her.
“She was also incredibly close to her grandmother, she has been devastated by this. She was also close to her aunt and uncles who have all struggled to come to terms with her death.
“I’m realistic enough to know We have to look forward to the future without India for the sake of our other children. Life will never be the same but we have to try.
“I miss my daughter more than words cannot express but she will always be with me. She lit up a room whenever she walked in and remembering that will always make me smile.
“The actions of this man have condenmed us to a life sentence spent grieving for a child whose potential we will never see. Sisters who will no longer share secrets and a friend who made life better.”
“Nothing that happens to this man will be enough to fill the void and ease the pain this man has caused to my family.”
A video tribute was also played from Jeremy Chipchase who said he “sincerely hoped there was no possibilty that any other woman suffered at the hands of his daughter’s murderer.”
Following the sentencing of Tenniswood, Northamptonshire Police released a statement from India’s family: “We would like to thank a number of people and organisations for their help and support during what has been an extraordinarily traumatic experience.
“Firstly, we cannot thank Northamptonshire Police enough for the speed of response and for the professionalism shown by everyone at the force throughout the investigation, not least by how quickly India was found and the suspect arrested. The Police’s guidance and support has been outstanding.
“India’s friends have also been a bedrock of support for us. India had a wide group of friends, both at work and in her leisure time, and everyone has gone out of their way to help us. Nothing has been too much trouble, and the strong feelings that India’s friends had for her have given us plenty of comfort and inner strength at this time.
“We would also like to thank Northampton’s community for their positive attitude and respect towards us. This has been a high-profile case, with coverage across the world, but our fellow townspeople have respected our privacy and given us the space to grieve as a family and with our friends. We cannot tell you how important this has been to us as a group, and cannot thank you enough.
“Northampton’s business community has also been very supportive, from publicising the initial search to the aftermath of her death.
“We are still only part-way through this process, and we are grateful that Justice has been done.”