The heartbroken partner of a Preston man who was convicted of killing a man in a pub fight has vowed to fight his murder conviction.
And Nicola Fairbrother-Bentham said today: “There are no winners in this - we have all lost.”
The mum-of-one, from Fulwood, spoke after Steven Lane, 30, from Shalgrove Field, Fulwood, Preston, was jailed for life.
Simon Marx, 42, died on holiday in Fethiye, Turkey, on October 8 last year after suffering a slow bleeding head injury in a brawl at the Newton Arms in Normoss, Blackpool, at around 12.20am on October 7.
Jurors found Lane responsible for his fatal injuries, but cleared co-defendant David Easter.
Ms Fairbrother-Bentham, 24, said she believed the circumstances were reflected in the sentencing after Judge Robert Altham imposed a 14-year minimum term.
She said the family were now considering appealing against his conviction and that she is standing by Lane.
READ MORE: Simon Marx murder case: What happens next?
And in a powerful interview, she revealed how the young couple had returned from a dream holiday to Mexico the day before the pub brawl happened.
The distraught mum also revealed both families hugged after the sentencing had finished.
She said: “There are no words to describe how heartbroken our family and friends are that a pub fight has ended in murder conviction. There are no winners in this, we have all lost.We are devastated at Simon’s death and how this trial has horrifically and unexpectedly unfolded.”
She still believes her partner had gone to the aid of 54-year-old David Easter during the brawl, and says the family can’t comprehend such “harsh eventualities from this”.
She told how they were in the process of purchasing a house to turn into a home for her daughter and the baby the couple were trying for, and that just two years ago Lane received a Divisional Commander’s Award at the Winter Gardens for trying to enter a blazing house in Blackpool to rescue a man from a fire.
Nicola, a care supervisor, also told how Lane had supported her when she studied for her degree.
He worked on oil rigs and wind turbines as a rope access technician, and spent several weeks at a time away working off-shore.
Nicola added: “Steven supported me throughout my degree, pushed me to consider my masters, and encouraged my progression to management in my career.
“In 2016, Steven and I were shopping in Blackpool. He saw a group of teenage lads fighting in broad daylight in the streets. Steven ran and put himself in between the main two and calmed things down, whilst shouting, ‘It’s not worth it lads’.
“This same instinct found him kicking the doors down to a burning house in 2015, when he was on the way to the gym on a Sunday morning. After trying to save the man in the house, and finding out he had sadly passed away, Steven cried to me saying, ‘I wish I could’ve saved him, I wish I could’ve done more’.
“We were a very motivated, ambitious couple. We looked to the future with one, five and 10-year plans.”
She revealed the family had found there is a lack of support for families of defendants.
She added: “We acknowledge and respect the court’s decision, unfortunately, we will never agree with it.”