Tragic Shaun Woodburn’s family in touching tribute one year on

Shaun Woodburn
Shaun Woodburn
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THE grieving family of Shaun Woodburn have paid an emotional tribute on the first anniversary of his death.

And she vowed to continue the campaign for tougher sentences after Shaun’s 17-year-old killer was jailed for four years.

Denise Syme

Denise Syme

“It is a very difficult time for all the family and Shaun’s friends at the moment,” Denise told the Evening News.

“I am trying to stay positive and celebrate Shaun’s life at midnight and I hope I have the strength to do that.”

Shaun, 30, died after being felled by a single punch from the then 16-year-old outside Gladstones bar in the early hours of January 1, 2017.

The former Bonnyrigg Rose defender had been seeing in 2017 at the bar with family and friends, including Hibs star Danny Swanson.

His killer, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was part of a drunken gang attacking strangers across the city on Hogmanay.

Shaun’s killer was charged with murder but this was reduced to culpable homicide during the November trial.

Co-accused Mohammed ­Zakariyah, 19, was ordered to do 240 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty to two assaults and a breach of the peace.

A third teenager was cleared of all charges midway through the trial.

Nearly 70,000 people signed a petition calling for justice for the dad-of-one amid public outcry at his killer’s sentence.

Denise and Shaun’s dad, Kevin Woodburn, met with Crown officials – only to be told no appeal would be lodged.

But Denise said the campaign will go on, not just for Shaun, but for other victims’ families.

“We are going to carry on fighting for justice in Shaun’s name in the hope that others won’t suffer like us,” she 
said. “I just want to take some time out to remember Shaun’s life, not his death.”

Denise and family are also hoping to honour Shaun with a lasting fundraising legacy in the New Year.

Relatives have chosen award-winning Street Soccer Scotland, based in Leith, as their chosen charity.

More than £8,000 was raised from mourners at Shaun’s funeral and a series of charity matches, with further events planned for 2018.

Street Soccer works with disadvantaged children, the homeless, addicts and other vulnerable adults to “inspire and motivate” through 
football.

The charity held a Shaun Woodburn Cup for 100 children, aged 10-16, at Spartans FC in November with some of the proceeds of last year’s events in Shaun’s honour.

Denise also thanked the Evening News for acknowledging her family’s dignified campaign in our list of top 30 people of 2017.

“The family are overwhelmed that you would have us in the top 30 along with these people who have done some wonderful things,” she said.

andy.shipley@edinburghnews.com