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THE FAMILY of a murdered Ilkeston man have spoken to the Advertiser about their anguish after his killer launched an appeal against his murder conviction.

Josh Clarke was jailed for 12 years after being found guilty of murdering Anthony Collins, 36, in June 2008.

josh clarke

josh clarke

Following Anthony’s murder, the family had to wait 18 months for justice after a jury failed to reach a verdict at the original trial in January 2009.

Clarke has always admitted manslaughter but denied murder throughout both trials.

But he was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment after being found guilty of murder at a second trial in December 2009.

Earlier this month he appeared at the Court of Appeal in London in a bid to have his charge changed to manslaughter and his sentence cut – with his lawyers claiming the conviction was ‘unsafe’.

And Anthony’s mum, Yvonne, told the Advertiser the whole situation was causing more heartbreak for her family.

“We were just starting to get back to some kind of normal day-to-day life and then this,” she said.

“To think we have to go through all of this again is just horrible.

“The whole thing has been an absolute nightmare and it’s still going on.

“This is just bringing it all back again, it really is.

“I can’t bear the thought of having to sit through it all again, hearing about what happened and how. We’ve been through it all twice already.”

Mr Collins’ family have been told a decision on the appeal is due in the next three or four weeks.

Mr Collins died after Clarke kicked him in the head near the Aldi store on Heanor Road following an argument outside a Bath Street takeaway in the early hours of Friday June 6, 2008.

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Mrs Collins added: “At the end of the day nothing’s going to change for us, Anthony’s still gone.

“That’s what makes this so hard for us all, we’re always going to be without him.

“He never had his chance to tell his side of the story.”

Anthony’s dad, Mervyn, said: “Imagine that knock on the door when a policeman tells you your son’s in hospital being kept alive by a machine.

“You just can’t know what we’ve been through until you’ve heard those words and now we’re feeling the same feelings all over again.

“This is bringing it all back.”

After already going through a trial and a retrial, the family are dreading the prospect of more legal proceedings.

Mrs Collins said: “Everything has just been so dragged out.

“The first trial, the retrial and now this appeal.

“We couldn’t even have the funeral for months because of post mortems and then a second post mortem, it’s just been horrible for us all.”