The Florentine releases the following statement on behalf of Jade Moss and the family of Ashley Olsen.
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“The last time we spoke to the press we had very little information and understanding of what actually happened to Ashley that night. Since then, the evidence collected by police and shown in court has been overwhelming. The reconstruction of her last hours has been extremely difficult to see and hear, as well as the baseless judgements made against Ashley. Her family, partner, and friends have never doubted her integrity in the wake of this tragedy. The only thing Ashley was guilty of is her childlike naivety and trust of all human beings. We all read the terrible victim blaming fiction that was printed in certain publications. It hurt us deeply, and was all the more vicious as Ashley is not here to speak up for herself. So we will never stop speaking out on her behalf. Ashley Olsen was a strong, talented and a genuinely kind woman. She was a daughter, sister, girlfriend, and friend; so much more than just a name in the press.
It has been almost a year since Ashley’s murder and her family have sat in court and had to endure the painful process of hearing the lies pour from the man standing trial for my friend’s murder. I gave evidence in court as a witness with that man sitting 3 metres away from me. I looked him in the eye, searching for pain or remorse, but he looked like he couldn’t care less, as if he were there charged with stealing a bicycle and not for the murder of an innocent young woman. At one point I had to stop speaking before I broke down in tears and he seemed to be smirking, like he wanted to laugh.
Ashley’s Dad, Walter Olsen, has sat in that courtroom day after day and I honestly don’t know how he has done it. His courage and strength comes from the purest love there is: the love of your children. The pain of losing a child is unimaginable, unbearable, and no one should have to live longer than the life they brought into the world. The whole family is living through this extreme pain day after day. I do not know why this happened to Ashley. There is no reason or sense to any of this. We are all desperately tired, and live in the hope of achieving some kind of justice for her.
We know that it’s Christmas and people are busy, but we want to ask the communities of Florence, the Mothers and Fathers and sisters and brothers, to come together in a show of support for the delivery of the final verdict. To stand together as a city and a community, and say that this kind of evil must not be allowed to remain in our streets. To stand together in memory of an extraordinary woman, and lend our strength to her family and friends as they pray that justice will be handed down.
To stand with Ashley Olsen, who can no longer stand with us.“
Final Verdict: December 22 at 9.30 am
Aula Bunker, via Paolieri 3, Florence
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