Holly Willoughby became emotional on Tuesday’s This Morning as she spoke to Laura Sugden who has her life turned upside down by a recluse neighbour.
The mum was described as ‘brave’ by the ITV presenter after appearing on the show to share her heartbreaking story.
Laura, who was five months pregnant at the time, openly shared how the horrific attack cost her unborn child’s dad his life.
Laura’s partner Shane Gilmer was shot with a crossbow by neighbour Anthony Lawrence at his home near Driffield on January 12, 2018. Read more here.
Deranged neighbour Lawrence lay in wait for Laura and boyfriend after breaking into their home via shared loft by removing bricks.
The killer was later found dead in a vehicle, but Laura has confessed she wish she could have shot him herself.
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While speaking about her experience on the sofa, Laura was comforted by an emotional Holly as she shared how her daughter, who was born following the death of her partner, has been the shining light in this difficult period.
She gained a motherly connection with Holly as she confessed the birth of her daughter Ella has saved her mental health following the traumatising experience.
Holly applauded fellow mum Laura for her bravery about speaking out on the show.
Holly said: “You say the only thing that’s helped you cope is the birth of your daughter and having her…”
Laura said: “Oh yeah absolutely, she’s incredible.”
Holly added: “Your strength in being able to sit here and tell your story is incredible, I can’t imagine how difficult this is for you.”
The pair glanced at one and other with teary eyes but Laura appeared to feel comforted by the mother-of-three Holly.
Laura became emotional when discussing both her partner Shane and daughter, but appeared stern and angry when discussing Lawrence.
Describing the full terror of that night in January 2018, Laura told how she found her “odd, hermit” neighbour hiding in the bedroom of her then three-year-old daughter Isabelle who was staying with family overnight.
She and Shane, housing workers with East Riding of Yorkshire Council in Beverley, had just got home after a Friday date night at Gino D’Acampo’s Hull restaurant, where they talked excitedly about their wedding plans and their impending baby, when Laura spotted a dark stain on her upstairs hall carpet.
Suspicious, she gingerly pushed open the door of her daughter’s room to find murderous Lawrence wearing a head torch in the darkened room and pointing his crossbow at her.
Laura said: “I had this feeling somebody was in. No, I had the feeling that HE was in my house.
“When I opened the bedroom door, the light from the bathroom shone into the room and I could see it was Tony and that he had something in his hand. I thought at first it was a gun.”
Sudgen told Holly and Phillip Schofield that Lawrence’s death does not bring justice to her family, and she wish she could have shot him herself.
“There’s no justice. There wouldn’t have been any justice if he would have survived, if he had been here.
“I don’t think prison would have been enough and it certainly would have left me unsettled forever.
“I think I would have felt something more if I had been able to put that bolt in him at that time.”
Laura is now campaigning for tighter regulations around crossbows, which can easily be bought online for around £150.
Her calls are now backed by Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds.
Laura’s appearance on the show was driven to spread awareness of crossbows, and the frightening reality that people are able to buy them so easily.
She said: “Yes, there’s no regulations to have a crossbow.
“That’s what my campaign is for to ensure that they have the same regulations as what it is for having a shotgun.
“They are just as fatal, caused a number of injuries, and ruined families.”
“I’m not going to ever stop anybody being murdered ever again that’s not what I am trying to do but there’s not really a purpose for a crossbow to be had.
“And if there is what I am trying to achieve is not going to prevent that, they just have to obtain a license to have one.”
To which Holly replied: “Which is a perfectly reasonable request considering it ruined your family.”
The campaign is called #shaneslaw and is said by Laura to be found across social media, or the UK Parliament website.
It has amassed 20,000 signatures in 24 hours.
To support the campaign click here.