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"We lost our best friend" four sons pay tribute to their dad who was killed last year - Birmingham

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Anthony Banting - victim

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The four sons of 57-year-old Anthony Banting, who was killed at Soho Benson Road tram stop, Birmingham last year, have paid tribute to their father: 
"On the 31st March 2017 our lives changed forever we lost our leader – we lost our stability – we lost our comfort blanket – we lost our best friend. 
"We found ourselves in a situation that will stay with us forever. To get a knock on the door from the police saying your father is dead and been murdered is indescribable. To have to phone your brother whom was on a well-earned holiday abroad at the time to come home because his dad’s life has been taken is something that I replay in my head a lot. There is no way to position or soften the blow – no way I can hug and console him at his darkest hour.
"The emotional affect this crime has had on me on my brothers differs for us all individually. Some have coped better than others and it’s led to the odd argument on how we feel we “should” be dealing with this awful situation. The truth is there is no textbook here just each of us getting through each mini milestone since the incident.
"Firstly we came together to speak to the police and the media etc – we then identified my father’s body – our focus then switched to funeral arrangements and finally to this trial. Our friends and family have been a good support for us but ultimately when this trial finishes and the bubble of support inevitably goes away there will just be us left to deal with a large hole taken from our hearts.
"Losing Dad also means losing him from any future milestones we achieve in our lives. There will be grandkids that will never know him, wives that will never meet him, families that will grow without him.
"The main factor I find hardest to deal with is the fact that I did not get a chance to say good bye – a chance to say thank you for making me the man I am and most importantly how much I loved him. The offender just got up one day and decided to take that privilege away from all of us.
"At the time of my dad’s death 2 of the 4 of us lived with him. After the incident we all found it too difficult to live and be in my dad’s house. We had all lived there since we were born – most of the memories and good times in the house had been shared in our dads company. We have sold the house due to this reason and all have since moved to rented accommodation. The comfort blanket has gone – the guy that would not ask for rent but ask if you wanted a few drinks after a hard day is gone. If truth be told whatever any of us needed or asked for our dad would have found a way to get it. He is truly irreplaceable in our lives. 
"The last thing any of us want is for another family to have to go through this situation.

"Thank you – The Banting Boys – Tony’s Sons"

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