Family’s heartache at Joanne’s death

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THE DISTRAUGHT family of Arbroath murder victim Joanne Rennie say they keep asking themselves ‘why our family?’

Joanne (35) was hit on the head with a brick and then fatally stabbed in the chest by Graham Buist at the flat they shared together in Culloden Road last September.

On Monday Buist (30) admitted murdering Joanne after a row over a loss of money and said it made him “lose the plot.”

The High Court in Edinburgh was also told that Buist had been drinking heavily on the night of the murder and after stabbing her called 999 stating: “I’ve murdered my partner … stabbed her.”

And after hearing details of that night in court on Monday, Joanne’s sister Agnes Rennie told the Herald she and the rest of the family will never get over what happened.

She said: “The family and I are distraught at some of the news that was heard in court and we were not aware until now that Joanne was hit over the head with a brick.

“We have not come to terms with the death of Joanne and will never get over it. We feel very angry and resentful.

“We are also extremely tearful, lost, empty and depressed, all of the feelings you can ever imagine.

“We are having recurring thoughts about the event going over how exactly it happened and why.

“All we keep asking ourselves is why our family?”

On Monday, the court also heard how Buist had been in a relationship with Joanne for more than two years and during that time had been convicted on three occasions for ‘domestic’ offences, including assault.

Joanne was a slightly built woman who only stood at 4ft 10in tall and neighbours have described her as a friendly, happy girl.

Agnes added: “Whenever I felt down or needed someone to talk to Joanne was always at the other end of the ‘phone. She always knew how to cheer me up.

“Just listening to her laughing would make me laugh.

“Now I can’t just ring her to say hello or for advice or to even get her opinion.

“My mother is on the ‘phone to me almost every day saying she can’t cope with the loss of Joanne.

“We keep asking ourselves, why did it get to this?

“Was there anything we could have done to prevent it?”

In the months leading up to Joanne’s death, her family including her mother, another three sisters and a brother, had to cope with the death of her older brother Robert.

And Agnes says life will never be the same again.

She added: “We had to celebrate Christmas and New Year without my brother Robert as he died five months before Joanne and to celebrate that time of year without both of them was really hard.

“Joanne’s birthday was on Wednesday (February 8).

“She would have been 36 years old. Not being able to celebrate her birthday is difficult.

“Christmas and birthdays will never be the same without them any more.”

Buist will be sentenced by Lord Bannatyne later this month when his defence counsel will make a plea in mitigation.

Twitter: @JenniferNewton1