Thoughts are with Zayden's family

SINCE June, 2012, the focus has been on Harley Hicks - the man found guilty of murdering Bendigo baby Zayden Veal-Whitting.

Rightly so, every effort has been made to ensure the person responsible for such a senseless and violent killing of a defenceless baby was brought to justice.

But in focusing on the killer, the community has not been able to focus on Zayden or his family. 

Zayden's parents Casey Veal and James Whitting, and their families, have not been able to talk about the heartache of the devastating loss of a beautiful boy taken so violently and suddenly from their lives.

They have spent the past six weeks silently sitting and listening to the harrowing evidence about the night of June 14/15, 2012 - hoping the jury would ultimately deliver a verdict of guilty.

They have found strength when most couldn't. Tolerance when most wouldn't.

They have shown courage many of us could never begin to imagine - each and every day they attended the Supreme Court and saw the man who killed their beloved little boy.

And when the verdict was delivered, they showed grace. 

Of all the things they no doubt would have wanted to say, Zayden's mother Casey thought of only one person - the homicide squad detective responsible for the investigation into her son's murder.

Detective Senior Constable Tony Harwood invested his soul into the case against Harley Hicks - an effort for which Zayden's family will be forever grateful. But the detective could not be there for verdict.

The only words spoken by Casey outside court were that she wished Detective Senior Constable Harwood was there to hear the verdict.

Our thoughts today are with Casey, James and their families.

One chapter is over, but that does little to ease their pain. 

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