‘I just want a cuddle’: Damien Leeding’s wife tells of families heartbreak 10 years later

A girl who was only four-months-old when her police officer father was killed in a robbery still tells her mum she “just wants a cuddle” from him 10 years after his death.

Sonya Leeding has spoken about the death of her husband Damian and how it’s impacting their two children – Hudson and Grace – for the first time in 10 years.

The 35-year-old Detective Senior Constable was shot in the head while trying to stop an armed hold up at the Pacific Pines Tavern on the Gold Coast in 2011.

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© Nine
Sonya Leeding has told 9News about her struggle ten years later after partner Damian’s death.

© Nine
Damian Leeding and wife Sonya.

Ms Leeding – also a police officer – said intimate home videos are helping her keep his memory alive.

“[The kids] hear his voice in one of the videos and they’ll go who is that?,” Ms Leeding told 9News.

“I’ll say, ‘well, that’s your Dad’, and they say, ‘oh is that what he sounded like?'”

Hudson was only two-years old when Mr Leeding was killed, while Grace was only four-months old.

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Sonya Leeding with children Hudson, 12 and Grace, 10.

“I suppose it’s creating those memories for them as opposed to actually having those memories,” Ms Leeding said.


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The Queensland mother said the pair are showing more of a resemblance to their father as they grow up, but admits there’s definitely tough times.

“[Grace] never really knew Damian; she was only four months old,” Ms Leeding said.

“There are times where she’ll just break, and I’ll say ‘what’s wrong?’

“And she’ll say, ‘I miss my dad, I want my dad, I just want a cuddle’.”

Ms Leeding said knowing her husband was never going to walk back through the door still caused her heartache, but that over 10 years she’s gotten better at coping.

“There’s often times when I think I need to ring him … or the kids have achieved something and he’s the first person I want to tell, and the reality he’s not here sets in,” Ms Leeding said.

“It’s still very raw regardless of how long it’s been.”

She will be doing a charity run for Police Legacy on May 29.

On the 29th of May, Sonya, a police officer herself, will be doing a charity run for Police Legacy.

Source: Thanks msn.com