Dad’s heartbreaking birthday message to son whose killer got just four years’ jail


THE father of a footballer who died after being punched in the street has posted a heartbreaking tribute on what would have been his son’s birthday.

Shaun Woodburn died in the early hours of New Year’s Day this year after he was attacked by a teenager who got just four years in jail.

Shaun would have turned 32 today (Thu) and his father, Kevin Woodburn, sent out a touching poem in a birthday message to his son, who is the subject of a campaign to get a tougher sentence for his killer.

He wrote: “A happy birthday to my son/He’ll always be my only one/Your birthday is our special day/That we will mark in our own way.

“You’ll be with us forever my son/And always be our special one/Have a great day and know we are near/Happy birthday Shaun, from all down here.”

Social media users replied with some messages of their own.

Jennifer Lang Burnett said: “Happy birthday Shaun. I hope you are watching over your family who are tirelessly fighting for justice for you.”

Barbara McMahon said: “Happy heavenly birthday.”

Ann Marie Daly added: “God bless.”

Yesterday, the heartbroken father blasted the decision to give a homeless man who stole from Manchester bombing victims the same sentence as his son’s killer.

Chris Parker, who stole a purse and an iPhone in the aftermath of the terror attack, was jailed for four years and three months on Tuesday which baffled Mr Woodburn.

Kevin tweeted yesterday (31ST): “A homeless beggar jailed for four years for stealing from victims of bombing, a despicable crime and deserved sentence.

“Now someone explain to me how my son’s killer got the same for taking Shaun’s life. Where do we value a life in our society? Change it.”

He added: “#justiceforshaun.”

Shaun’s loved ones have been campaigning for tougher sentencing after his 16-year-old attacker, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was jailed for four years in November last year.

Late last year Kevin launched a petition urging the government to give his son’s killer a tougher sentence – and got 10,000 backers in the first ten hours.

Mr Woodburn died after he was attacked by the teenager in the early hours of January 1, 2017, in Leith, Edinburgh.

The former Bonnyrigg Rose FC football player died after suffering massive head injuries.

The teenager, who is now 17 and cannot be named because of his age, was jailed for four years after a jury returned a verdict of culpable homicide.

He had committed several other assaults during the night along with his friend Mohammed Zakariyah, targeting innocent members of the public at random.

Zakariyah was found guilty of assault and given community service.

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