Murdered Sarah Payne’s mother, 50, reveals returning to the spot the eight-year-old vanished from for new documentary was like ‘exorcizing ghosts’ as her three other children try to move on 19 years after the killing that shocked Britain
- Sarah Payne was abducted and killed by paedophile Roy Whiting in July 2000
- Mother Sara, 50, campaigned tirelessly to get ‘Sarah’s Law’ passed in her name
- She returned to scene of crime in Kingston Gorse, West Sussex for documentary
Published: 01:58 BST, 4 July 2019 | Updated: 08:49 BST, 4 July 2019
The mother of murdered schoolgirl Sarah Payne has revealed returning to the spot she was kidnapped 19 years on was like ‘exorcizing ghosts’.
Sara Payne, 50, said going back to the place where her little girl was abducted and murdered was one of the most painful things she has done since losing her.
She made the journey to the field in Kingston Gorse, West Sussex, where her eight-year-old daughter was taken as part of a new ITV documentary that reflects on the horrendous impact the her death has had on the entire family.
Mrs Payne told the Mirror: ‘I don’t normally put my heart on my sleeve like that.
‘It was very difficult to do but it needed to be done. It was like exorcizing ghosts. It was something I did once, I probably won’t do that again.’
Sara Payne sits with documentary presenter Susanna Reid near where her daughter Sarah disappeared in West Sussex 19 years ago
Susanna Reid with Sarah’s Payne’s mother, Sara, as they filmed for a new ITV documentary on the eight-year-old’s murder
Pictured: Susanna Reid in the field where Sarah Payne disappeared with her mother Sara in West Sussex
Sarah is pictured in a school photo before she was abducted and murdered by paedophile Roy Whiting in July 2000
As she and Sarah’s surviving siblings Lee, now 32, Luke, 30, and Charlotte, 25, approach the 20th anniversary, her mother considers the trauma it has brought to all their lives.
Sarah hugs her younger sister Charlotte, now 25
Today on Good Morning Britain, she spoke of the impact of the media glare on her children.
‘I can’t even begin to imagine being that age and trying to cope with that media attention,’ she said. ‘The way I chose to bring my children up was with magic and softness and fairy land.
‘What they had was this massive smack of reality and it almost made me regret giving them the softness.’
She tells Susanna in the documentary: ‘I can live with her not being here any more. I can’t live with them not being able to live their lives.’
Paedophile Roy Whiting was jailed for life in December 2001 for killing Sarah.
Mrs Payne says she has considered contacting him in prison, but decided against it, determined he would not take any more from her family.
Her son Luke added: ‘When I actually think about him and what he’s done to my sister, he makes me into a monster… thinking about him makes me into a terrible person inside.’
In an emotional interview with the Mail on Sunday, he revealed he is haunted by the last words he said to her.
Just 11 years old at the time, he was frustrated at her falling over and pleading to go home during a game of hide and seek with their brother Lee near their grandparents house.
He told her: ‘F*** off and go home’. Just moments later Whiting snatched her.
Parents Michael and Sara at a press conference in the year 2000 after their eight-year-old daughter went missing
Luke Payne (pictured), now 30 years old, is haunted by this last words to his eight-year-old sister Sarah
After a 17-day search Sarah’s body was found in a field near Oulborough — 15 miles from where she disappeared.
Whiting, who was later quizzed and arrested by detectives, had been imprisoned for sexually assaulting a nine-year-old before Sarah’s murder.
He is now 60 and serving a 40-year sentence at HMP Wakefield, only eligible for parole at the age of 82.
Speaking after the documentary, Mrs Payne also told the Mirror it was a stroke in 2009 and her recent 50th birthday that made her more determined than ever to live a full life in spite of her suffering.
She said: ‘It was not something I recommend to everyone, but it was certainly a life changing moment.’
Sarah Payne: The Untold Story is on ITV on Thursday at 9pm.
Sarah’s sister Charlotte, now 25, also features in a new documentary on ITV called Sarah Payne: The Untold Story