EXACTLY a year ago today the lives of two children were torn apart by one of the most gruesome crimes ever seen in Dorset.

When Terry and Caitlin Barnett arrived home from an average school day their world had been destroyed in their absence.

And today they are still battling to come to terms with the horrifying scene which greeted them as they walked through the door of their home in Capstone Road, Charminster, Bournemouth.

Their mother, Heather, had been viciously murdered and they stumbled upon her mutilated body in the family bathroom.

Today the ground floor flat lies empty and a simple candle burns outside the door.

But despite extensive inquiries and high-profile murder appeals, police are no closer to finding Heather's killer.

This week her mother-in-law told the Daily Echo: "She was very nice and would do anything for anybody. She used to do sewing for people and she made me nice jumpers and cardigans.

"The anniversary is not going to be a very nice day for any of us. If only the police could find out who did it."

The children, who now live apart, are still unable to talk about what they found on November 12 last year.

Detectives involved in the murder hunt said Heather, 48, was killed with a hammer and a knife.

Her breasts had been removed and placed by the side of her body and cut hair had been placed into her hands.

Detective Superintendent Phil James, leading the inquiry, told the Daily Echo: "It's probably one of the most traumatic murders you could imagine.

"The first anniversary of Heather's murder is a very difficult time for her children, family and friends so I am appealing to anyone with information to come forward in confidence for their sake."

Police are still desperate to hear from anyone with information and hope someone will be able to help them identify a trainer print which they believe could lead them to the killer.

A print found in blood at the scene was that of a Nike TerraPart trainer, size nine, nine-and-a-half or ten.

Details of the trainer have been published before but so far the response has been disappointing.

Today, Heather's sister, Denise Le Voir said: "The children are finding it very difficult and it's for them that I appeal to anybody with information to please come forward."

And Heather's life-long friend, Marilyn Phillips added: "This is a terribly sad and upsetting time for everyone who was lucky enough to know Heather.

"Hopefully the anniversary will prompt those people with vital information.

"Heather's children, family and friends find it difficult to move on with the grieving process until her killer is brought to justice."

The children discovered their mother's body just after 4pm on the afternoon of Tuesday November 12 last year.

Detectives are still searching for people who may have been in the area at the time.

Anyone with information is urged to contact police in confidence on 01202 222500 or the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.