THE family of Steven Thurston have spoken about how his tragic death has impacted the family.

The 50-year-old was pronounced dead at his home in Sussex Drive, Blackburn, after police were called at 12.50am on Monday, June 11.

A post-mortem examination showed the father-of-eight had died from head injuries.

Linda Livesey, Mr Thurston’s sister, said his death was a complete shock to his entire family and they were finding it hard to come to terms with what had happened.

Mr Thurston had lived in Blackburn all his life and studied at Longshaw Community Junior School before moving to the former Everton High School in Manxman Road.

Mr Thurston had been made homeless during spells of his life and had stayed in hostels.

Mrs Livesey said: “He was very caring. If he had two cigarettes he would always give one away. That was the kind of person he was.

“He would be very kind to other people in his situation, to other homeless people.”

Several police cars and vans were called to the scene and parked outside Mr Thurston’s home on the day his body was found.

A blue crime scene tent was erected on a grass verge, as investigators searched inside and outside the house.

Mrs Livesey said: “I wish I could have five minutes with him just to find out what happened.

“He wasn’t an angel but he was still our brother.

“I am looking after two of his eight children as they are too young to be on their own.

“My mother has found it really hard. She is in a bad state really, no one should have to bury their own son.”

Mrs Livesey said a Gofundme page has been set up to help cover her brother’s £3,700 funeral costs.

She said: “The police have been great, they have been really supportive to the family.

“But we’ve not been told much more than what’s currently been put out there.

“The support we’ve had from friends has been really needed.”

Murder accused George Preshur, 30, and Andrew Tate, 22, both of Keele Walk, Blackburn, appeared before judge Robert Altham at Preston Crown Court last week.

Both men spoke only to confirm their names during the 10-minute hearing.

Both men will next appear at the crown court for a plea and trial preparation hearing on July 18.

A trial date has been set for December 9.