`Can you imagine how it feels?'

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The Independent Online

It had been a night of unimaginable horror for Nick Ingram, but as he rose to greet what was probably his last day, he put on a baseball cap to spare his family the traumatic sight of his shaved head.

"He didn't want to upset us," his mother, Ann told the Independent late last night. "Believe it or not, that was all he was concerned about."

Mrs Ingram was in hiding last night as news came through that the attorney general of Georgia, Michael Bowers, had succeeded in overturning the 72- hour stay of execution that would have allowed Ingram to keep breathing until Monday.

But, knowing her son could be dead within a few hours, she rang the Independent to say: "I'm not angry or bitter. He spent only one year in Britain and the rest of his life here, but it has been the people of Britain who have done the most to save him. All except one man - John Major. He could have done more, but he did nothing.

"It may be one hour or two or three, but if they have their way they will execute him. The attorney general is going to see to that."

As Mrs Ingram broke into intermittent sobs, her sister-in-law, Nancy, did what she could to console her, but nothing helped. "Only the Supreme Court is left now, but I believe that will be a formality," Mrs Ingram said. "I don't know what to do with myself. Can you imagine how it feels?"

Nancy took the phone away from Mrs Ingram as she began to break down again. "She's in a terrible state," she said. "I feel ashamed of Georgia. The state you love, the state you brag about and the state you expect to protect you has turned into the state that is about to commit a legal murder. It is legal, but let's be honest, it's murder nevertheless.

"It was very difficult for the family today. They found it very difficult to talk to him. What do you say to a person who is about to die? Nothing seems to matter. I mean, it's not as if they're going to let him breathe fresh air again.

"If they have their way, there won't be long left. But while he has a breath in his body, we won't give up hope."

With the sound of Ann Ingram sobbing in the background, Nancy Ingram put down the phone.