Members of Riley Turner’s family supported each other as they bravely faced the cameras outside court after the little boy’s sadistic killer was told he would spend the rest of his life behind bars.
The youngster’s mother, father, stepdad, grandparents and other distraught relatives clung to each other as a police officer – Detective Sergeant Jan Sullivan – read out a statement on their behalf.
It said: “While justice has now been done, no sentence will ever be enough for what we are going through and what that man has done to our family.
“It will not bring our little man back. Riley was always so happy and bubbly, caring and loving. His twin brother misses him so much. We will never come to terms with what has happened and will always feel hurt at the way Riley was so cruelly and suddenly taken from us.
“We would like to thank our family and friends for their support during this difficult time, especially the local community who have raised funds in Riley’s memory and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
“We would also like to thank West Yorkshire Police, who have given us great comfort and reassurance with their support and the way they have handled the investigation.”
Asked for her comments, Riley’s mother, Sharon Smith, said: “I just hope he rots in hell.”
Riley’s grandmother, also called Sharon Smith, said: “I want to say thank-you to the judge for the right sentence.”
Senior investigating officer Detective Superintendent Mark Ridley said the case was “extremely horrifying”.
Det Supt Ridley added: “Most of the officers involved in the case will never, ever see something as gratuitous and savage as this.”
He said it had been an “incredibly sad and disturbing case”, which had had a profound effect on all those involved in the investigation.
Det Supt Ridley added: “Riley was a very much-loved son, grandson and brother, who will be deeply missed by his family.
“They showed Rosser kindness and compassion when they allowed him to stay in the safety of their own home. He abused that kindness and compassion through his savage and indescribable actions.
“He has shown no remorse or compassion for the pain suffered by Riley’s family, by offering any explanation for his gratuitous savagery.
“The death of Riley in such circumstances provides a clear indication that Rosser presents a significant danger to all those who may come into contact with him, which is reflected in the sentence imposed upon him.”