The mother of a sub-postmaster shot dead in an armed robbery today branded the three men convicted of his murder "soulless entities".
Craig Hodson-Walker, 29, was shot through the heart as he tried to fend off a masked gang at the post office and general stores in Fairfield, Worcestershire, in January.
His father Ken was also shot during the raid - sustaining a bullet wound to his left shin.
Speaking after three men were convicted of his murder, Craig Hodson-Walker's mother Judy, 57, said: "So many times we have asked the question - why did evil touch us on January 9 this year?
"We may never know the answer to that but at least we know today we have at last got justice for our son Craig and that the soulless entities who took his life will never be able to hurt anyone else again.
"Family was everything to Craig and he would always have fought to protect us. He paid the ultimate price for that but he has stopped them and he will always be our hero."
She said before Craig's murder the family had celebrated five years of running the business and were making plans for the future.
"In the time it takes to walk across a room and make a cup of coffee all that was destroyed," she said. "We lost our wonderful son, James lost his brother and best mate, and Lisa lost the man she loved.
"Ken's health has suffered and although his wounds may heal in time the scars this has left on our lives will always be there.
"It's difficult to find the positives at times like this but if there is any good to have come out of Craig's death it is the fantastic support we have had from the community in Fairfield - they gave us the strength to carry on and have shown that evil cannot and never will win."
Mrs Hodson-Walker thanked her neighbours, the Post Office, the police and all those who had given evidence in the trial.
She added: "The nation needs to know they can rely on their police force and we're so proud of them.
"Although we are happy with the verdicts and pleased that justice has been done the punishment for these mindless dregs who murdered Craig will never equal the pain they have caused us.
"We hope they get life sentences....ours began on the day our son died."
Lisa Bundy, Craig Hodson-Walker's fiancee, said the verdicts had brought "mixed emotions".
She said: "When Craig was murdered I lost my partner, my best friend and my soul mate. Our love for each other was beyond words.
"So right now I have mixed emotions. This is the best result we could have got and I am obviously pleased they have been convicted. But nothing is going to bring Craig back so the feeling is bittersweet.
"One day I had my whole life mapped out in front of me with Craig, the next day it had been totally erased. It all seems a bit surreal."
Miss Bundy also thanked her friends and family and her late fiance's family for their support.
"I felt I owed it to Craig and myself to attend every day of the trial - there were so many questions and for me this was the final piece in the jigsaw of closure. Now though I have a whole new grieving process to go through.
"I still don't understand how people can do such terrible things and I see the world through different eyes. I don't feel anger because that would only swallow up my life and I have no feelings towards the killers - they're just not worth the emotion.
"To have lost the person you love the most through such a callous act is indescribable. It has left a gaping hole in my life that I know I will never be able to fill but I will have to learn to live with.
"I also know that although I'll never see him again, Craig will always be with me."