“He will never see justice for his son” – The devastated family of Joe Arthur today told how their dad died without seeing his son’s killers brought to justice.
Anthony Arthur, known as Tony, spent the last five-and-a-half years desperately fighting for the truth behind his son’s death to be revealed.
Joe, of Grindon, Sunderland, was killed during a street attack in Corfu while on holiday in 2006.
Tony, pictured left, and his family have been locked in a battle with Greek authorities to bring the barman accused of delivering the fatal blow and two medics, accused of neglecting the 34-year-old, to trial.
But their fight has been hit by a series of setbacks.
In February this year, Anthony, 72, was diagnosed with cancer meaning he was unable to travel to Greece when the trial was finally given the go-ahead less than two weeks ago.
But just 24 hours after Joe’s sister, Tracy Page, took to the witness box, the family received a call telling them to return to Sunderland as their dad was seriously ill.
The next day Anthony died.
Tracy, 47, of Penshaw, said: “The one thing he wanted to see was justice, now he will never see it and that’s really traumatic for us all.
“He knew it was going to trial but by the time we got back he was already on a life support machine, so he doesn’t know it was going well and that’s really hard for us.
“Everyone is so devastated and it’s unbelievable. All my dad wanted, even when he was diagnosed with cancer, was to see this through to the end for his son.
“That was all that ever mattered to him.”
Tracy said the news that her dad had fallen seriously ill came as a shock to the family.
“We obviously knew he wasn’t well but we didn’t expect it to happen this quickly. We didn’t think he was going to die, it’s a total shock,” she said.
“He’s come with us to Greece every time apart from this time.”
A funeral for Mr Arthur is taking place on Monday at 2.15pm at St Mary Magdaline Church, Wilson Street, in Millfield.
A service will then be held at Sunderland Crematorium at 3pm, followed by a celebration of his life at the RAOB Club, also in Wilson Street.
Everyone is welcome.