To the rest of the world she is a tragic figure - a young woman who became lost in a world of drugs and prostitution who was murdered by a serial rapist for his own sordid gratification.

In death Emma Caldwell was failed by police officers who refused to take seriously the plight of women involved in sex work.

But to those who loved her, Emma was a gentle soul, a beloved daughter and sister from a happy home who was high achieving academically, bright and caring.

She loved horses and as a young girl attended Brownies and drama classes.

The 27-year-old, whose killer was finally convicted at the High Court in Glasgow after multiple police failings, was extremely close to her parents, William and Margaret, and her brother Jamie and older sister, Karen.

It was, Mrs Caldwell believes, Karen's death in May 1998 at the age of just 31 that sent Emma spiralling into a dark world that would see her come into contact with Iain Packer, the man who would murder her.

At school, Emma earned seven standard grades and four Highers - a good student.

A senior police officer who led the re-investigation of Emma's murder said that what stood out from all the evidence was the young woman's gentle nature.

Assistant Chief Constable for Major Crime and Public Protection Bex Smith said: "What shone through to the enquiry team throughout the investigations into Emma’s life was her gentle personality, and I want to finish by saying that our thoughts remain with Emma, her family and all those affected by this terrible case."

When she was 20, however, Karen became ill and died, causing agony for the close family who lived in Cardross, Argyll.

Mrs Caldwell, 76, told the court of the profound effect Karen's death had. “It affected [Emma] badly," Mrs Cadlwell said. "I think at the time I was so deep in grief that she needed my help, but I was very selfish and I know my family suffered because of that — both my son and Emma."

Around this time Emma entered into a relationship with a man who lived in Glasgow's Govan area.

This man is believed to have given Emma heroin under the pretence it would help alleviate her grief.

Mrs Caldwell added: "She had met someone — she told him how badly it had affected her. He said he had ‘something that could help with that’.”

Eventually Emma became gripped with addiction, funding her habit through prostitution, and was living in the Inglefield women’s hostel in the city’s Govanhill.

She still kept in close contact with her parents, seeing Mrs Caldwell and Mr Caldwell, who died in 2011, once or twice a week.

Her mother would bring her fresh laundry and check in on her, always encouraging her to seek help for her addictions.

Emma was known to be using the services of Base 75 – now known as Routes Out - and some of the women who gave evidence during Iain Packer’s trial were previously supported by the service.

Bronagh Andrew, Operations Manager for Routes Out, said: "We are full of admiration for the strength and composure of Emma’s mother during her long fight for justice for her daughter and are relieved that Emma’s killer is behind bars where he can no longer harm women.

“Women involved in prostitution are some of the most vulnerable in society. Sheer survival repeatedly forces them into situations which are inherently dangerous and they routinely take risks which no-one else would ever voluntarily agree to take."

In April, 2005, Emma seemed to have turned a corner and told her mother she was planning to go into rehab, news that left Mrs Caldwell "overjoyed".

On Sunday, April 3, mother and daughter bought daffodils and a card for Emma’s gran and went to McDonald’s for a meal before returning to Inglefield.

This would be the last time Mrs Caldwell would see her daughter. Less than 48 hours later she would have been murdered by Iain Packer, her body dumped in woodland near Biggar.

Her last sight of Emma was of her waving back as she entered the hostel.

Perhaps fittingly, given the pair's closeness, Emma's last recorded words were "Bye mum - phone you Monday or Tuesday".

Her body was found in woodland by a dog walker five weeks later but her killer would not be brought to justice for nearly 20 years.

In a statement, Emma's family said Police Scotland failed their daughter and the rape victims of Iain Packer due to a “toxic culture of misogyny and corruption”.

Aamer Anwar, lawyer for the family, said after the verdict Mrs Caldwell feels “no closure”, but she can now “breathe again”.

He said: “The moment Emma went missing, Margaret’s life changed forever, she has thought about her every minute of every day.

“When William, Emma’s father, died in 2011, he made his wife Margaret promise she would never give up the fight for justice.

“Many will ask Margaret how she feels following the verdict – she says she feels no joy, no elation, no closure, the loss of Emma shattered a mother’s soul, but finally the presence of justice allows Margaret to ‘breathe again’.

“It is only because of the perseverance of a mother and father, and the many women who so courageously came forward that justice is possible.”