The sentencing of Simon Marx’s murderer today will bring to an end another painful chapter in his family’s history.
For his half brother, Karl Conlon Parr, who sat through much of the trial at Preston Crown Court, reliving Simon’s final moments was tough.
The jury was told how the 42-year-old was stamped on after a fight broke out in the Newton Arms pub, in Normoss, on October 7 last year.
The man who inflicted the fatal injury, causing him to die of a brain haemorrhage 29 hours later, Steven Lane, was today due to appear at the court where he was convicted of murder by a jury last month to learn his fate.
And Karl told of his family’s torment as they suffered their third tragedy in as many generations.
The 53-year-old, from Lytham, recalls: “One of last messages I ever exchanged with Simon was to do with researching our family history.
“He was very interested in his Polish heritage.”
Simon’s Polish born grandfather, Miroslaw Janusz Karpinski, came to Britain and served in the British 303 Bomber Squadron, attached to the RAF, during the war, as an aircraft engineer.
But tragically in 1950, aged 40, he suffered catastrophic head injuries in an accident involving a plane wheel at Blackpool airport.
Simon and Karl’s father, who was born Paul Janusz Karpinski, was said to be a strong socialist and changed his name by deed poll to Paul Marx.
After divorcing Karl and his brother’s mother, he married Simon’s mother Carol, with whom he also had a daughter, Clare.
The half siblings did not know each other growing up.
But some 20 years or more ago, Karl, a former Army chef, reacquainted himself with their father, Paul, and after several nights out he was eventually introduced to Simon.
However, it was only after a second family tragedy that they became close.
Paul died from 40 per cent burns after a blaze on board a houseboat moored on the Lancaster Canal in Bilsborrow, near Preston, in 2002.
It was a cold night and he had come back to the boat and put the stove on, but the baggy jumper he was wearing caught fire and enveloped him.
Karl recalls: “My wife rang me at work. She had picked up The Gazette and read about the boat fire and it had named my dad.
“She said: ‘Is it your dad?’ and I just went white.
“It’s then that I knew he was in hospital. I rang Preston Royal, as it was then, to see how he was.
“I don’t think the nurses believed I was his son at first but then Simon came on the phone.
“It’s sad that it was only when our dad was dying we started to become close.
“Simon and his dad were very close and it threw him.”
The brothers started to socialise together in their grief.
Karl remembers: “We used to compare each other – our hands were exactly the same.
“For Simon he had a brother for the first time.
“He had such a cheeky smile and a way with people, and definitely a ladies man.
“I became quite close to Simon, a charmer, always happy, everybody loved him.
“We used to go out together, we were like best mates.”
Recalling the horrific moment he got a call from their sister Clare, he says: “I was gobsmacked, I couldn’t say anything.
“I’ve been there through the trial and it’s been very hard.”