Fam­ily live with shock of son’s death every day

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Double Murder - One Year On - By Alex Clar­idge aclar­idge@thek­m­group.co.uk @clar­idgealex

A year on from his mur­der, the fam­ily of Si­mon Gorecki have re­turned to Can­ter­bury to mark the an­niver­sary.

On March 29 last year the pop­u­lar fish­mon­ger and his friend, Natasha Sadler-el­lis, were stabbed to death at a house in Dick­ens Av­enue on the Poet’s Es­tate.

Their killer, Fos­ter Chris­tian, is now serv­ing a life sen­tence for his crimes.

Si­mon’s mother Sally Devlin and brother Adam Devlin yes­ter­day (Wed­nes­day) re­turned to Barham Cre­ma­to­rium, the venue of Si­mon’s fu­neral in June.

Adam, 47, said: “Most peo­ple suf­fer some sort of grief in their lives, but to lose some­one like this is such a shock. I still think about it every day.

“I sup­pose the thing that changed the most over the year is that it is not the first thing I think about in the morn­ing any more – even if the pain doesn’t get any less.

“We have started to think a lot more about it, though, as the an­niver­sary of March 29 loomed.

“He loved liv­ing in Kent so we thought we would come here to mark an­niver­sary.”

Si­mon, 47, who had worked on the fish stall in the Goods Shed in Sta­tion Road West, lived in shared ac­com­mo­da­tion in Dick­ens Av­enue along­side Chris­tian.

The 54-year-old me­chanic stabbed Si­mon five times, in­clud­ing four in the back, af­ter a row erupted over cold water com­ing out of a shower.

Chris­tian also re­peat­edly stabbed Natasha, 40, her son Con­naugh Har­ris, 20, and a boy who was 16 at the time of the at­tack.

Mr Har­ris and the boy sur- vived their in­juries to give evi ev­i­dence against Chris­tian dur­ing his trial at Maidstone Crown Court in Oc­to­ber.

He de­nied two counts of mur­der plus un­law­fully wound­ing Mr Har­ris and wound­ing with in­tent the boy.

He claimed self-de­fence – a ver­sion of events unan­i­mously re­jected by the all-male jury.

Sally, 70, who lives in south­west Lon­don, at­tended the trial.

She said: “That was the most bru­tal part. It was ab­so­lutely trau­matic be­cause it felt like Si­mon was on trial. Chris­tian’s court­room de­fence in­volved try­ing to dis­credit the pros­ecu prose­cu­tion ev­i­dence.”

Hun­dreds at­tended Si­mon’s fu­neral at Barham and as the an­niver­sary of his death ap­proached Sally has re­ceived mes­sages from his friends.

She and Adam laid flow­ers at the cre­ma­to­rium be­fore hav­ing lunch at the Jack­daw in Den­ton, where the wake was held. Be­fore re­turn­ing to Lon­don later in the day, they vis­ited friends of Si­mon’s in Can­ter­bury.

“There were so many peo­ple here at the fu­neral,” Sally added. “It’s so good to know they’re still think­ing of Si­mon.”

Si­mon Gorecki’s mother and younger brother, Sally and Adam Devlin, re­turned to Kent this week for the an­niver­sary of his mur­der; Mr Gorecki, left, was stabbed to death along­side his friend, Natasha Sadler-el­lis, right, on March 29 last year

Fos­ter Chris­tian was given a life sen­tence for the dou­ble killing and wound­ing two other peo­ple

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