The family of a man convicted of murder have today pledged to stand by him and continue to protest his innocence.
Mark Ball, 25, was told he must serve at least 18 years in prison for the murder of Marc Davis in a Blackpool flat in 2012 following his conviction last week.
Preston Crown Court heard Mr Davis, 41, was stabbed four times in the chest in the living room of his flat in Alexandra Road, South Shore.
But Ball’s mother and father, Adele and Antony Ball, insist that they do not accept there is sufficient evidence to say their son killed Mr Davis, adding that Ball, who was high on a cocktail of drink and drugs at the time, still has no memory of the incident.
They say they are now planning to appeal against the verdict.
Mrs Ball, of Hornby Road, Blackpool, said: “All Mark has done is tell the truth – he doesn’t know what happened.
“He went to court thinking he was going to be found not guilty. The verdict has shocked us all.
“It’s all we think about when we wake up in the morning right through to going to bed.”
Mr Ball added: “The court said he is showing no remorse, but the truth is he just can’t remember.”
Mrs Ball, 52, said prison had changed her son, a former Highfield School pupil who once had ambitions to become a chef.
“He can’t even talk to me at the moment. Every time he tries he starts to cry,” she added. “He’s devastated.
“I know there is a mother out there who has lost her son, even Mark says it’s horrible that someone has lost a life.
“But I have lost my son as well and I don’t believe he should be in prison.”
The family, which includes Ball’s sister Danielle, 22, says there are still questions about what happened that night and it is for that reason the appeal is being planned.
Throughout the two week trial at Preston Crown Court, Ball claimed he had no recollection of how the victim came by his fatal wounds. Prosecutors said there was no obvious motive for the killing. Ball,formerly of Hornby Road, Blackpool, had been diagnosed with alcohol dependency syndrome and had been drinking and taking Valium on the night of the attack, the court was told. But the judge who jailed him described him as having “no remorse” and said the evidence against him was “overwhelming”.