THE HUSBAND of a church leader from Dawlish who was stabbed to death by their son has paid tribute to his wife. 

Guy Huggins spoke after their son, Bradley, 25, was ordered to be detained indefinitely in a mental hospital after admitting the manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility of his mother Hazel. 

Mrs Huggins, 55, died at her son’s flat in Plymouth in July last year. She had been stabbed repeatedly with a knife. 

After the sentencing at Plymouth Crown Court, Mr Huggins spoke on behalf of the family describing his wife as a ‘beacon of kindness’ who he misses ‘so much’.

He also said that he forgives their son. 

Mrs Huggins had been a member of the congregation at Hope Church in Dawlish and was also a member of its leadership team.

Mr Huggins said: ‘Following the sentencing, we continue to grapple with the profound loss of our beloved Hazel, my amazing wife and mother to my two sons.

‘She was a cherished member of our extended family and a precious friend - a beacon of kindness, faith, joy, and love in our community and beyond. 

‘Hazel’s radiant spirit touched the lives of many as she lived out her Christian faith.

‘We encountered evidence for the first time which we will need time to process as we grieve. The events of July 29, 2023, will forever be etched in our hearts as a day of unimaginable tragedy.

‘The loss of Hazel has reverberated not only through our immediate family but also through our extended network of friends, neighbours, colleagues, and international faith community. 

‘The outpouring of support, both near and far, has been a source of huge comfort during this time of profound grief.

‘Brad's actions were the result of severe mental illness. 

‘We find ourselves sharing a tragic bond with far too many families who have suffered similar bereavements either at the hands of mentally ill relatives, or by strangers known to have serious mental health conditions. 

‘Hazel fought for Brad, she loved him, and she could not have done more to help and support him.

‘We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to Devon and Cornwall Police, the CPS, our police family liaison officers, Victim Support, and Join the Dots Solutions for their unwavering support and dedication throughout this ordeal.

‘I don’t know how people get through events and traumas like this without a faith. In the midst of our deep sorrow, we draw strength and comfort through our Christian faith and the outpouring of prayers and support from around the world.

‘Hazel’s death will never be forgotten, and has impacted many people, but we choose to forgive my eldest son Brad and to advocate for him to receive the medical care and support that he desperately needs. Hazel was, and always will be a bright shining light, loved by many. 

‘She was not only my wife, she was also my soul mate, and I miss her so, so much.’