THE partner of a dad-of-two who was murdered last year outside a Canvey pub has told of the “recurring nightmare” her family is suffering following his death.

Jamie Lewis, 25, was sentenced to life in prison today for killing Matt Portwood, 42, in an altercation outside the Haystack Pub in Furtherwick Road, in the early hours of Saturday, February 4.

Lewis was found guilty of murdering Mr Portwood by stabbing him in the neck.

During the sentencing hearing in Basildon Crown Court Victoria Hawkins, Mr Portwood’s partner and the mother of his two children, read out a statement to the court.

She said: “The emotional stress and physical pain and trauma we’ve endured is unimaginable.

“We will never heal from this and the trauma has scarred us for life. The pain becomes worse each day.

“I don’t remember the last time I closed my eyes and didn’t have the same recurring nightmare over and over again.

“This has changed me forever and my children will never look at life the same way again.”

A month-long trial started on September 12 with prosecuting barrister Cyrus Shroff pointing to Jamie Lewis as the killer.

Lewis was found guilty of murder and possession of a bladed article.

Mr Portwood’s father, Rodney Portwood, also read out a moving victim impact statement in court, saying: “Matt’s death has had an immense impact on me, his father, his mother and his two sisters, not to forget the impact on Vicky and the children.

“As a family our main feeling is anger that Matt has been taken away from us for no reason at all by a person with no consideration of the impact of his actions.

“We live with the pain and anger of what has been stolen from Matt. He has had 40 years of precious life taken away.

“Whatever justice is delivered will never compensate for what has been lost and stolen from Matt, there will never be forgiveness.”

Judge Ian Graham sentenced Lewis, of Bensham Lane, Croydon, to life in prison with a minimum term of 23 years and 30 days.

Lewis was also handed an 18-month sentence for possession of a bladed article to run concurrently with his life sentence.