SETTLING in for a cosy night watching Christmas films, Samantha Rosser couldn’t believe how lucky she was.
The 32-year-old was excitedly planning her wedding to fiancé Paul Stenson – her childhood sweetheart and father of their two children.
11Samantha and Paul were looking forward to their dream weddingCredit: True Life Stories11The family loved Christmas and had matching festive pyjamasCredit: True Life StoriesDressed in festive pyjamas, the family were about to start their film when the phone rang – and hours later, their life changed forever.
Samantha recalls: “Paul’s mum called and said she had a new puppy.
“The kids were screaming in excitement and climbing on Paul’s back, so we got changed and dropped them off at their nan’s.
“That’s when Paul and I spotted our friends across the road from his mum’s, drinking at our local pub.
“They invited us to a house party a few doors down. As we didn’t have the kids and Christmas was around the corner, we thought, why not?”
There, stranger Adam Fletcher, 28, started hitting on Samantha.
After politely confronting Fletcher, Paul, 28, resolved the issue – but as he went to leave, Fletcher stabbed him in the heart with a kitchen knife – and he died in Samantha’s arms.
Samantha, a banking customer service advisor, says: “One minute my family and I were watching films in our PJs. The next Paul was gone.
11Samantha and Paul were together from their teensCredit: True Life Stories11Samantha is devastated her children have to grow up without their dadCredit: True Life Stories“That monster robbed me and my children of our best friend. Our lives are so quiet without him.”
Growing up, Samantha and Paul, of Liverpool, were childhood sweethearts.
They went on to have two children, Jordan Stenson, 12, and Eliza Stenson, nine – before Paul popped the question in 2012 in memorable fashion.
Deal or No Deal proposal
Samantha recalls: “I went on the TV show Deal or No Deal. Suddenly, Noel Edmonds invited Paul onto the set.
“Noel asked the banker on the phone if Paul should propose, then Paul got down on one knee!
“Crying in front of the whole camera crew, I said yes. After that, we dreamed of having a big wedding.
“Paul was my first and only love. He was the most thoughtful and affectionate partner.
“He was an even better father to our children. He did the school runs and took them on adventures every chance he got.”
Paul was my first and only love. He was the most thoughtful and affectionate partnerSamantha Rosser
Last year, a week before Christmas in December 2021, Samantha and Paul, a tree surgeon, took their children shopping where they bought festive PJs.
That night they ended up at the friend’s house party, and when they arrived they were introduced to Fletcher.
Samantha says: “Adam shook our hands and seemed nice. After that, Paul caught up with his friends while I danced with the girls.
“But hours later, I went into the garden and Adam followed me. As we were chatting he got too close and I told him sternly that I had a partner.
“He said he was with someone too and promised they wouldn’t find out. I thought he was a cheeky git. I told him it wasn’t going to happen.”
11Samantha says Paul was an amazing dadCredit: True Life Stories11Samantha says she wishes they’d stayed at home that fateful nightCredit: True Life StoriesSamantha went back inside, found Paul and complained about Fletcher coming onto her.
She recalls: “I told Paul I wanted to go home. He said he’d find Adam and tell him to stop hitting on me.
“Adam appeared at that moment, so Paul pulled him aside and chatted to him calmly.
“When I interrupted them, Adam denied everything. It was infuriating because he was making me out to be a liar.
“I was tired so I asked Paul for the keys and told him I’d see him at his mum’s shortly.”
After Samantha left the party, she crossed the road.
Paul walked outside to follow her, but Fletcher grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed him in the heart.
Samantha suddenly heard screams and saw people running outside of the house.
Then she spotted her fiancé lying on the curb in a pool of blood.
Samantha says: “I was hysterical. I ran over and did mouth to mouth on him. I kept lifting his head up but it kept flopping back.
“I gave up and laid my head on his chest, howling. I begged him to stay with me and the kids.
“Ambulances arrived and sliced open his T-shirt, but it was no use. Paul died.
I was hysterical. I ran over and did mouth to mouth on him. I kept lifting his head up but it kept flopping backSamantha Rosser
“I couldn’t comprehend it. I kept telling myself it wasn’t real.”
Soon after Samantha was forced to tell her children that their dad had passed away.
For the next few days, Fletcher was on the run before being arrested at his mate’s apartment the day before Christmas Eve.
His friend, Nathan Finnegan, 30, had been hiding him, while Fletcher’s partner, Demi Walsh, 28, lied to the police about hearing a different man stabbing Paul at the party.
They were arrested too.
Samantha says: “The next day it was Christmas and as the kids opened their gifts, I held back my tears.
“I had to go to a different room to break down. It was horrendous.
“After that, I struggled mentally every day. Our lives had been shattered.”
11Evil Adam Fletcher was jailed for murderCredit: True Life Stories11Nathan Finnegan was found guilty of assisting an offenderCredit: True Life StoriesIn September 2022, Fletcher, of Liverpool, was found guilty of one count of murder and was jailed for life with a minimum term of 22 years at Liverpool Crown Court.
Demi Walsh, 28, was found guilty of assisting an offender and was jailed for 18 months, while Nathan Finnegan was found guilty of assisting an offender and jailed for 14 months.
Samantha says: “In court Adam didn’t show an ounce of remorse and lied through his teeth.
“Hearing the verdict, I felt nothing. No time in a cell was justice for taking my children’s father.
“Me and the kids have since relocated to North Yorkshire for a fresh start.
“I’m getting better now but Jordan and Eliza watch videos of Paul on their iPad every day and cry.
“Paul’s smile, laughter and energy was infectious. This Christmas it’s going to kill us again with him not there.
“We miss him every day.”
11Samantha feels robbed of her true love and best friendCredit: True Life Stories11The mum-of-two is dreading Christmas without PaulCredit: True Life Stories11Demi Walsh, 28, was also found guilty of assisting an offenderCredit: True Life Stories
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk