THE devastated brother of Alison McBlain wrote a heart-felt victim impact statement, which was read out to the court during the sentencing hearing on Wednesday.

Joe McBlain said as a family, they would never recover, with their lives having been changed forever following the tragic events of November 19 2019.

In his statement, Mr McBlain said: "On Tuesday November 19 I was informed by my mum Sharon Edwards that my sister had been involved in an incident in Blackburn where she had been run over by a vehicle and she was in intensive care at Preston hospital.

"At that time, although my mum was obviously distraught, she felt Alison would recover, however due to the amount of police involvement I knew it was serious.

"The next day my mum was at the hospital all day and the news from the medical staff was that Alison was in a critical condition.

"Alison's 12-year-old son, Reegan, went to the hospital that day to say goodbye to his mum.

"On Thursday November 21 the family were all present at Alison's bedside while the hospital completed tests to find out if she had any chance of recovering - we were told that she was brain dead and we all stood there traumatised while the machines keeping Alison alive were turned off.

Lancashire Telegraph:

"We all stayed with her until her heart stopped beating and I truly believe that my mum's heart stopped that day as well.

"My emotions were all over the place, I couldn't take it all in. Reegan had been staying at my house with my partner and four children while all this was going on and I didn't want him to find out via the news or social media that his mum had died - I wanted to tell Reegan face-to-face so I left the hospital to go and deliver the heart-breaking news.

"It will never leave me having to tell Reegan that his mum was dead, it was awful.

"My mum Sharon was so upset that she didn't want to be at home all on her own with Reegan so they both moved into my house - from the moment that my mum realised that Alison had gone forever I knew she would never be the same again.

"When we were young Alison and I were very close, we had the usual sibling rivalry but remained close during our teenage years.

"When Alison was in her early 20s this all changed when she first started experimenting with drugs.

Lancashire Telegraph:

"I was devastated that Alison was going down this route but despite trying to stop her she continued and there was nothing I could do.

"Our relationship became strained and I made it clear that whilst she was still taking drugs, I would have nothing to do with her.

"My mum however continued to support her not least by caring full time for Reegan. My mum never gave up hope that she could persuade Alison to stop taking drugs - about six months before this incident, Alison began attending Inspire and seemed to be co-operating with the drug programme.

"My mum had high hopes that this was a new beginning and that had she stopped seeing her partner, Christian Rivers, who she felt was a bad influence there was a real chance that she would be able to live a normal life.

Lancashire Telegraph:

"On Saturday November 16 2019 Alison had been staying at my mums for a short time - my mum was satisfied that she was now no longer taking drugs and seemed to be her happy-go-lucky self again.

"Alison went out that night and we never saw her alive again - that night haunted my mum as she could not understand why she didn't come home, we now believe that she bumped into Christian and was with him until she died.

"Our lives have been turned completely upside down as a result of Alison's death. Christmas was particularly difficult and we decided not to have Alison's funeral until the New Year.

"It was over the Christmas period that my mum was contacted by a female called Karis Poynton - Karis told my mum that she information that would help the police enquiry and befriended us all.

"Karis sent my mum flowers and even gave Reegan some money at Christmas - I even offered to put Karis up when she stated that if the offenders in this case found out she was helping the police they would come looking for her.

"Alison's funeral was on Monday January 13 2020, it was highly emotional especially for little Reegan who was in attendance.

Lancashire Telegraph:

"On Thursday January 16 2020, I received a phone call stating that my mum Sharon had been found dead and Reegan was the one who found her. I could not comprehend what I was hearing and rushed round to her house.

"My youngest son Robert had stayed at my mum's the night before with Reegan and when they had woke up they had realised that they were late for school and had gone to wake up their grandma, Sharon, and found her dead.

"Although the postmortem report stated that my mum died as a result of heart problems my family and I all believe that the trauma and devastation of Alison's death led to this.

"My mum had never had heart problems in her life and I firmly believe that she died of a broken heart.

"The difficult decision then had to be made about who would care for Reegan and it was agreed that he would come and live with me and my family. This was not an easy decision to make as I have four children and did not have any extra bedrooms at my house.

Lancashire Telegraph:

"This had a huge financial impact on our family but I could not let him go into care as he had lost both his mum and his grandma within a matter of weeks.

"Another devastating blow was discovering that the police had arrested Karis Poynton as they believed she had led the offenders to Alison - this was truly shocking to hear as she had befriended our family.

"We felt completely stunned and I am glad that my mum never became aware of this while she was still alive - this was the ultimate betrayal.

"My own children have also suffered as they have lost an aunty and a grandma as well as having their cousin come to live with us - my eldest son must now share a bedroom and there is less money to buy essentials.

"The impact of Alison's death has had far reaching consequences, the effects of which will never leave us.

Lancashire Telegraph:

"My aunty Collette has lost her niece and only sister, she has found the trial extremely difficult listening to the details of Alison's last moments.

"My grandad Bob could not face the trial as he has lost not only his grand-daughter but his daughter as well, and as a family we all blame the defendants for my mum's death as well - we believe she would still be alive if this tragedy had not happened.

"I am having to juggle with five children now and am still coming to terms with not only losing my sister but the loss of my mum.

"The defendants in this case testified that they didn't believe that selling drugs was really doing anything wrong, but they have no concept of what damage their actions have on families of their customers who are all fighting terrible addictions - behind every drug addict is a family who love them and are being destroyed.

Lancashire Telegraph:

"We will never recover as a family and our lives have changed forever.

"Although the defendants have been found guilty we truly believe that justice can never be done in this case."