It was an emotional day in court as victim impact statements were read at the sentencing hearing for Richard Dowdell.

Members of Yvonne Brooks’ family submitted statements to the court and were present on Thursday when they were read out during the sentencing hearing.

The statements described how Brooks was considered the “heart and soul” of the family before Dowdell killed her on May 30, 2014.

"I very much miss visiting my mother every Saturday. I was suppose to start work; a new job the following Monday. I haven't worked since," Glenn Edwards, Brooks’ son.

Dowdell pleaded guilty to second-degree murder earlier this month.

"I do believe he should never enjoy life again because he took the most beautiful person I knew."

Brooks’ daughter Karen Edwards was also in the courtroom.

“My mother was taken away from five children, six grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. You had no right to take her away from us."

It’s still unclear why Dowdell struck and killed Brooks in her Innisfil home two years ago. He knew Brooks and many residents of Sandy Cove Acres because he mowed the lawns there.

Second-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. Both the Crown and defence agreed he should be eligible for parole in 12 years.

The defence also brought up his mental state for consideration. Defence lawyer Cynthia Fromstein told the court, “God was telling him to do things."

Dowdell was given the opportunity to address the Brooks family.

He looked over to them and said "I'm terribly sorry for what I did to your mother and grandmother. I can't bring her back, and I’m sorry."

After hearing from both the Crown and defence, the judge said she needs some time to decide Dowdell's sentence.  They'll return to court on Aug. 16.