‘Their daughter will grow up without memory of them’ - family of Bob and Paula Bateman tell of pain that won’t go away after fatal crash
The parents of Bob and Paula Bateman, who were killed when a drug driver fell asleep at the wheel and smashed into their car, have told of their immeasurable loss.
Paula’s mother told of “indescribable pain that will never go away” while Bob parents said their lives had been “totally shattered”.
Bob, 36, and Paula, 35, from Westfield Road, Manea, died at the scene when Luke Norton, swerved into the opposite carriageway on the A142 near Chatteris and crashed his van into their Ford Focus on September 3.
The Bateman’s daughters, Lexi, 10, and 18-month-old Elizabeth, suffered minor injuries.
Norton, of Nocton Park Road, in Nocton, Lincoln, was sentenced today (October 16) to eight years and eight months in prison, and disqualified from driving for 14 years and four months after admitting two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.
In a victim impact statement Paula’s mother, Angela Harper, said: “Paula was a beautiful baby and a wonderful big sister. Just how wonderful when at just over two-and-a-half-years-old, I was feeding her baby sister and the pressure cooker exploded in the kitchen.
“There was our dinner all over the ceiling and dripping down the walls - but Paula calmly carried on feeding her sister. Looking back, I can see that this was the first signs of the wonderful caring supportive person she would become.
“I last saw Paula and Bob the Friday before they died when we all went for a treat to KFC in March. How thankful we are to have had that special time together. Then, on 3 September, came the knock on the door that everyone dreads.
“Two young girls are now the centre of my life due to a person so irresponsible that they caused this awful event which will affect us and many others for the rest of our lives. The girls will have no dad to walk them down the aisle, no mum to share girlie secrets and growing up talks, and no cooking tips for all those amazing cakes she baked.
“We have indescribable pain that will never go away and this pain has rippled out to the rest of my family, to Bob’s family, and so many fantastic friends. It is not just two lives that have been taken; the lives of the many that loved them have been ripped apart.
“Elizabeth will have no memories of her amazing parents, no knowledge of how fantastic they were and how loved she was. Lexi has some memories and I’m scared that they will fade.
“How do I explain that at Christmas, birthdays, mother’s and father’s days, that the very people that should be here to celebrate are never going to be there again? Never will there be laughter as a family because of that man’s actions on that night.”
In a separate statement John and Patricia Bateman, Robert’s parents, said: “Our world and the rest of families was totally shattered when police rang the doorbell.
“Robert and Paula had just celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary on the 20th August this year. We really miss them both, even more when we see the children.
“Robert’s mam always said he gave the best hugs ever, he was a gentle giant and we all loved him.
“When lockdown was over they came to visit, Paula had baked a delicious cake as usual and we got to see how big the girls had grown. This was the last time we saw them. We and the family miss them very, very much. They will always be with us in our hearts.”