Ipswich: My murdering father is evil - daughter speaks out about her father’s brutal behaviour

IPSWICH: Revolted by the brutality and inhumanity of Martin Edwards’ murder, Joanne Hegarty could hardly believe how he was left to die in agony.

Between them, her father Hugh and Timothy Bailey inflicted 228 separate injuries on the 45-year-old, before heading off to celebrate Christmas at Hegarty’s home in Limerick Close, Ipswich.

Mr Edwards’ body was found in his Piper’s Court bedsit in Old Foundry Road on Christmas Day 2010.

Today Joanne laid bare her despair over the murder and spoke about the emotional scars which continue to blight her life.

For these she blames the father, with whom she has had only occasional contact after he left Northern Ireland to come to England.

After Mr Edwards’ death, but before Hegarty’s arrest, he telephoned his 29-year-old daughter in tears.

Joanne, of Derry, Northern Ireland, said: ”He phoned me last Christmas (2010) and said he was on a lot of drugs and they (Hegarty and Bailey) had attacked this man.

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“He tells so many lies that I didn’t believe him. He was crying on the phone.

“He seemed to be in a bit of a state to be honest. He was saying they tried to bring him (Martin Edwards) back to life.

“I couldn’t understand what he was talking about. I couldn’t really make sense of it. He sort of talks in riddles.

“It wasn’t until the next day when my brother put on Teletext that we found out.”

After her father’s arrest he begged her for help again.

“He was writing to me, looking to me to help him. He wanted me to go to a solicitor back here to get him help.

“The letters didn’t make a lot of sense. It was like his head was all over the place. He was talking nonsense.”

Joanne said she did not realise how badly Mr Edwards had been beaten until she read about the court case on the Star’s website after her father’s sentencing last November.

“When I read the stuff on the internet it was brutal, and the extent of the injuries... it was just really horrific.

“It has been very upsetting. It was a shock when it came out.

“It was very disturbing stuff. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I feel disgusted and angry. I saw the photograph of Martin Edwards when he was a teenager.

“I feel really heartbroken. This innocent man was getting traumatised and bullied before his death. It makes me sick.

“It doesn’t matter how many drugs people take, it is no excuse. I feel a lot of sorrow for Mr Edwards’ family. My father’s just a really, really sick man.

“It shows how much in the gutter he was.

“He really didn’t care about anybody else. It’s downright evil. There’s so much bitterness.

“He was out there destroying people’s lives.”

Hegarty also known as Joseph Patrick Hegarty, must serve a minimum jail term of 14 years after being given a mandatory life sentence for Mr Edwards’ murder. Bailey, of no fixed address, must serve a minimum of 20 years.

Mr Edwards’ naked body was discovered by a neighbour in his blood-spattered flat. His injuries included 18 broken ribs and a serious head wound.

n Have you been affected by crime? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starnews@archant.co.uk