Relatives of murdered newlyweds Nicola and Harry Fuller believe their health has been ruined by the killer's constant pleas of innocence.

Nicola's parents Michael and Barbara Johnson feel they are sharing the double life sentence given to the man convicted of blasting their daughter four times with a gun.

Insurance broker Stephen Young was convicted of murdering Mr and Mrs Fuller after plotting to pay off debts which were crippling his business.

More than a decade after he was jailed for life, he still protests his innocence and an appeal hearing is expected later this year.

Mrs Johnson suffered a heart attack several months after Young first appealed against conviction five years ago. A year later, Mr Johnson had a stroke that paralysed the right side of his body.

He needed intensive therapy to regain his speech and movement.

The grieving father believed it was the stress of Nicola's murder and the continuing litigation that damaged their health.

At the family's home in Pembury, near Rye, Mr Johnson said: "Young is the thorn in our side. It has been a continual strain but there is not much you can do."

Father-of-two Young, also from Pembury, killed Mr Fuller, 45, and Mrs Fuller, 27, on February 10, 1993.

The couple had married just five months earlier, following a whirlwind romance.

Young had duped car dealer Mr Fuller into having a large amount of cash at his Wadhurst home.

When Mr Fuller let the broker through the front door, Young shot him in the back at point-blank range, then shot Mrs Fuller three times.

She crawled across the floor to phone for help.

One bullet had shattered her jaw and, before she could explain her plight to an operator, Young shot her in the face.

Mr and Mrs Johnson grew worried when they didn't hear from their daughter and hours later, with police, they discovered the couple's bodies.

Mrs Johnson, 62, said: "When I rang her work and she had not been in, I rang Michael and said something was wrong.

"We got to Wadhurst and her car was in the car park. We could see her keys and bag were on the table at the back door.

"Between the lounge and the kitchen, there was a utility room and there was Harry's feet sticking out from the door."

Mr Johnson, also 62, said: "A police officer had gone upstairs and called me up. There was Nicky."

His wife said: "It was like watching a film, only I was involved in it.

It must have been awful for Michael having to go and identify her."

Mr Johnson said: "Since then, our health has deteriorated. Barbara had a heart attack and a double heart by-pass. I had a stroke. I was lucky to recover."

Tape recordings of Young talking to Mr Fuller on the morning of the shooting and a gun stash at the broker's home in Heskett Park convinced police he was the killer.

Young was found guilty after a four-week trial at Hove Crown Court which heard he had debts totalling more than £100,000.

Police dubbed Young "The Iceman" because of the way he talked calmly with his wife and business associates just hours after the shootings and while under interrogation.

In a bizarre twist, some of the jurors used a Ouija board to contact the victims during a seance and the case had to be retried at the Old Bailey.

Mrs Johnson said: "We sat through all the hearings. He kept making out he did not do it.

"He shot Nicola three times. She tried to make a phone call but she could not be understood because he had severed her tongue.

"He put a quilt over her head and shot her in the head.

"The biggest fear at the retrial was he was going to walk out. It still feels as if we're being stalked by him from prison."

A tape recording of Nicola's pleas for help to a phone operator were so disturbing the hearing was briefly adjourned because a juror did not think she could continue.

Despite the immense pressure, the Johnsons are both determined to attend 45-year-old Young's latest appeal.

Mrs Johnson said: "I need to know everything."

She said their 37-year-old daughter Michelle had begun having counselling: "I don't think Michelle really grieved, she was too busy looking after us. Last year, she heard about the appeal and went to pieces."

Mr Johnson still finds it difficult to think of Young and his protests of innocence.

He said: "Six months after he was jailed, Songs of Praise was broadcasting from Wormword Scrubs prison.

"Who was in the front row, singing and smiling? It was Young. I went berserk. We were calling the BBC and the prison governor to complain."

Norman Brennan, director of the Victims Of Crime Trust, which helps people bereaved through murder and manslaughter, attended Young's trials with the Johnsons and witnessed the effects on the family's health.

He said: "Menial tasks like going shopping suddenly become so much more difficult.

"There is never a nice murder but the crime Stephen Young committed was one of the most appalling, premeditated double murders I have ever heard about."