11:00am Monday 8th April 2013
By Mark Taylor
HIS absence left a hole that will never be filled.
But the family of murdered rapper Aaron Buron said a night of celebration a year after his death helped them to smile again.
Saturday’s event at the East Oxford Community Centre in Princes Street featured performances by his musician friends.
Father-of-two Aaron, known as “AZ”, would have been 31 last Tuesday, and was just two days away from his 30th birthday when he was attacked in Rose Hill.
The musician was stabbed by Haydan O’Callaghan in March last year after he tried to stop the killer attacking a girl.
Sarah Craft, who had a two-year-old son Cory with Mr Buron, said: “It was a celebration of his life.
“We had rappers spitting [lyrics], and someone playing music, it was just how Aaron would have liked.”
The 25-year-old: “He used to say Cory is born for hip hop and he was straight up there on stage with the microphone in his hand. We could have another rapper on our hands.
“The night showed that for the children life goes on, even though it is still painful to think about him.”
Aaron’s sister Jemma Buron, 31, said: “We’ve held events in the past, but then when it felt like we were mourning him, it was terribly upsetting.
“This time it was more relaxed and it was a lot more fun. I can’t believe a year has passed and that time has helped to heal.”
Hip-hop artist Robert “Yankz” Nunley performed in memory of Aaron, his best friend and former bandmate.
Miss Buron said: “It was just like Aaron was with us.
“Yankz played one of their songs and we didn’t expect it, so he sang his bit, and then the crowd sang Aaron’s bit.
“It’s our favourite song, and it was a really touching, emotional moment.
“It was a lovely surprise and a wonderful gift. For a time it felt like he was there.”
Donations were accepted for a trust fund for Aaron’s two sons AJ, eight, and Cory, two.
To mark a year of his passing, his family painted a mural tribute on their driveway in St Martin’s Road, Rose Hill, and laid flowers.
The trained chef, who was studying carpentry at Oxford & Cherwell Valley College’s Blackbird Leys campus, was known for his city shows and often spoke out against knife crime in his songs.
O’Callaghan, 18, of Saunders Road, East Oxford, was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a recommendation that he serve at least 21 years in prison, after a trial at Oxford Crown Court in October last year.
Jurors heard he stabbed Mr Buron in St Martin’s Road, where the victim lived, on March 31.
O’Callaghan had been drinking heavily and attacked a girlfriend, biting her on the head.
Mr Burton was stabbed after he intervened.
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