Josie Russell buys childhood home in Gwynedd

Image caption,
Josie Russell is forging a career for herself as a textile artist

Josie Russell who lost her mother and sister in a hammer attack has bought back her childhood home in Gwynedd.

Ms Russell, who was badly injured in the attack in Chillenden, Kent in 1996, told the Sun newspaper the move would bring her closer to her mother Lin.

It also holds treasured memories of her sister Megan who was six when she died.

Michael Stone is serving life for the murders and will not be considered for release until 2031 after being refused a new appeal in October.

The artist used money from a trust fund and compensation from the Criminal Injuries Board for the purchase.

Ms Russell says the house "feels right - I'm going home and I'll never leave".

As well as the house purchase 2010 has seen Ms Russell establishing herself as a textile artist.

Her first show of textile mountain pictures at the National Trust's Plas Newydd on Anglesey in November was a sell-out.

The 23-year-old said she was delighted by the response.

She uses mostly recycled materials, and had to restock to keep up with demand.

Speaking about buying her new home - next-door to where her father Shaun Russell lives - she tells the Sun newspaper that the house and garden in the Nantlle Valley are alive with memories.

She said her childhood was mostly spent outside playing with her little sister Megan, as her mother Lin did not allow them to watch much television.

Plans for the new house include keeping the wallpaper in a bedroom that her mother had chosen, and reinstating the flower beds her mother used to tend.

"I want to restore them. I just have so many happy, happy memories of living in this house," she said.

"What makes it even more special is that Shaun lives next door."

The family settled in the house in 1991 when Miss Russell was three.

They moved to Kent in 1995 and a businessman bought the property.

Ms Russell said she "burst into tears" when she heard it was going on the market earlier this year.

She added that she was sharing her home with boyfriend Iwan Griffith, and told the newspaper: "We aren't in a hurry to get married or have children yet, but one day it will be an amazing feeling to bring them up in this house in the same way that Lin and Shaun brought Megan and me up."

The design and textiles graduate, who also works at a branch of Tesco, said of Stone: "I just want to close him off in a chapter of my life that's over.

"For me, life is very much about living in the here and now, but there are things about my past that will always make me feel happy and proud.

"The house reminds me of so many of them."

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