The widow of a man who died helping a neighbour said his death has ‘left a massive hole in many people’s lives’ after his killer was sentenced today.
Ian McLoughlin, 55, was today handed a life sentence at the Old Bailey in London and must serve a minimum term of 40 years.
Speaking after the hearing, Mr Buck’s widow Karen said: “Today has brought to a conclusion the first part of a long journey – for myself and Graham’s family.
“The sentence handed down by Mr Justice Sweeney today reflected the seriousness of the crimes Ian McLoughlin committed.
“However, at the end of the day it does not change anything.
“I would once again like to thank everyone who has helped and supported us in the period since Graham’s death, especially the police officers, the family liaison officers and all of our friends, neighbours and colleagues.
“We have many questions, which remain unanswered at this stage.”
She said she awaits with interest the inquiry by the Ministry of Justice into the day release of prisoners. The Old Bailey had earlier heard that McLoughlin was on his first day out of prison in 21 years when he murdered Mr Buck.
He had been serving a life sentence for murder and travelled on day release to the Little Gaddesden home where Mr Buck was murdered from Springhill Prison in Aylesbury.
Mrs Buck said: “Graham’s death has left a massive hole in many people’s lives. He will be missed, but he will not be forgotten.”
Det Insp Martin Brunning said: “Graham Buck lost his life helping a neighbour – a selfless act of bravery.
“I applaud Graham Buck for what he did in trying to help Mr Cory-Wright and with tragic consequences lost his life.”
The Old Bailey had earlier heard details of the horrific injuries inflicted on Mr Buck when he tried to help 87-year-old neighbour Francis Cory-Wright, of Nettleden Road, Little Gaddesden.
McLoughlin had tied Cory-Wright to his bed and was in the middle of robbing his home when Mr Buck intervened.
Mr Brunning said: “The level of violence used to cause his death was completely senseless and disproportionate to the acts of a man who simply came to the aid of a neighbour.
“It is on that basis that 40 years in prison for a man that’s now been responsible for the deaths of three men in the last 30 years is entirely fitting.”
He said Mr Buck’s family have conducted themselves with ‘absolute dignity in circumstances that are very difficult to comprehend’.
He said: “It is with a degree of satisfaction that Karen and Graham’s wider family leave court today knowing that in all likelihood Ian McLoughlin will never leave prison, and that’s a comforting factor indeed.”