‘Split moment of evilness’ robbed me of my devoted son

Nicky Bonner - murder victim

"For me to lose my child, my friend, my sparring partner I know that nothing in my life will ever be the same again" said Leigh Bonner after the man who murdered her son Nicky (above) was jailed for life. - Credit: Family

‘Split moment of evilness’ robbed me of my devoted son says distraught mum 

Nicky Bonner’s mum Leigh described how her son always wanted to be a father, and in May his girlfriend gave birth to a little girl. 

Heartbreakingly, Nicky will never know his little girl.  

On Thursday his murderer Tyler Smith was sentenced to life in prison for stabbing him in the heart. 

Leigh Bonner asked for her victim impact statement to be read out in court. 

She said: "Nicky always wanted to be a dad and he would have made an amazing father.  

“In May this year Nicky’s girlfriend Nisha gave birth to his beautiful baby daughter.  

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“A daughter he will never meet because of a split moment of evilness and a little girl that will grow up never knowing what a wonderful Daddy she has. 

"I can’t explain to you what it does to you as a mum to watch your child being lowered into the ground, it is the most heart-breaking disturbing feeling imaginable. 

"For me to lose my child, my friend, my sparring partner I know that nothing in my life will ever be the same again.  

She added: “Nicky touched so many lives, a son, brother, grandson, friend, nephew, cousin, I cannot find the right words for the gap he will leave in so many lives. 

"I would have swapped places in a heartbeat so he didn’t have to go through that fear of his last few moments, it kills me to think about it. 

"As soon as I heard the verdict, I went to Nicky’s resting place, where I spend a lot of time, to tell him. I hope he can now rest in peace. 

"He was so loved and that can never be taken away from us ever. Thank you, Leigh." 

Tyler Smith, 23, was jailed for life after murdering the young father-to-be with a single stab wound to the heart. 

Smith, 23, launched the attack on 30-year-old Nicholas Bonner, known to family and friends as Nicky, in Stanground, on January 5. 

The court heard that Nicky had been with friends at the Southfields Drive house when he spoke on the phone with Smith. 

Nicky then left with a friend to buy cigarettes and alcohol from Tesco, in Whittlesey Road. 

While on their way back, a silver Vauxhall Astra approached and Smith got out to speak to Nicky.  

Things became heated and Smith stabbed him. 

Smith was driven off by 36-year-old Kristopher White, while Nicky ran back to Southfields Drive where he collapsed. 

Smith, of Sandpiper Drive, Peterborough, was arrested in Market Deeping at 4am the following day. 

Murderer Tyler Smith

On August 10, following a six-day trial at Cambridge Crown Court, Tyler Smith (above) was found guilty of murder. - Credit: Cambs Police

White, of Myrtle House Caravan Park, Peterborough, was arrested in Peterborough later that day. 

Smith denied murder, while White later admitted assisting an offender for driving Smith away from the scene. 

On August 10, following a six-day trial at Cambridge Crown Court, Smith was found guilty of murder. 

He was sentenced at the same court on August 12.  

White will be sentenced at a later date. 

Judge David Farrell QC told Smith: “The reason you attacked Nicholas Bonner in the street had, at its roots, drugs. 

“This is sadly yet another case in this county where class A drugs supply has resulted in yet another knife murder.” 

Judge Farrell added that he was content Smith had not in fact intended to kill Nicky, but instead had intended to cause him serious harm. 

He said: “You did not pursue him and you displayed clear shock when you discovered after the event that he had, in fact, died.” 

Judge Farrell sentenced Smith to life in prison, with a minimum of 21 years before he would be eligible for parole. 

He said Smith’s age and immaturity were “significant mitigating factors” together with the fact he was suffering with depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

The judge commended two police staff members from the Major Crime Unit - Claire Reed for her “crucial” work in putting together the CCTV and evidence and analyst David Stacey.