Sister of Fred and Rose West victim reveals journey to forgiveness

The sister of Lucy Partington – who was murdered by Fred and Rose West – has spoken of her journey to forgiveness for the couple 25 years after their crimes came to light.

Lucy, 21, who studied at the University of Exeter, vanished on December 27 in 1973.

Her remains were discovered in the basement of 25 Cromwell Street in Gloucester more than 20 years later.

Marian Partington, her elder sister, spoke to a BBC Inside Out West documentary broadcast 25 years after the horrific acts of the Wests were discovered.

The couple tortured, raped and murdered an unknown number of women over a 20-year period, between 1967 and 1987.

Lucy Partington
Lucy Partington

Fred West was charged with 12 murders but took his own life in a Birmingham prison before his trial.

Rose West was convicted of 10 murders in November 1995 and is serving a life sentence.

Ms Partington told the BBC: “To me Lucy’s life was sacred and I needed to reclaim her as a person, as my sister, from what happened.

“Then it came to me that the only way out of this was to move towards forgiveness, but I had no idea what that could mean, or how that could be possible, but I made a vow to try and forgive the Wests.

“The first thing I experienced was murderous rage, so I realised that this is the beginning of my journey towards forgiveness.

“I have details about Rosemary West’s childhood – the violence in the family, the neglect and the abuse, and [I have tried] to imagine what would it be like to grow up with very little love.

“I can’t see how there can be any cruel actions that haven’t got a root in something else, something that has happened in somebody’s life.

“But then people will always say that’s not an excuse.

“And I say very clearly I don’t forgive the Wests for what they did, but I forgive them as people for whom there didn’t seem to be another way of living.”

Ms Partington has kept a small woollen bag her younger sister made her aged eight.

“She gave it to me as a gesture of love and when I look at it I still remember that,” she said.

“At the memorial service one of her friends described her as ‘indelible’, that she made a mark on people that she touched people’s lives.”

The documentary will air on BBC One West at 7.30pm on Monday.