A DAD has suffered tragedy for a second time with the sudden death of his 13-year-old son.
Heartbroken Malcolm Binns has been left devastated after his son Stephen died at home in Thwaites Road, Oswaldtwistle, on Sunday.
The news follows the death of Malcolm's wife Christine almost nine years ago from a rare form of pneumonia. She also died suddenly on Stephen's fifth birthday, just three days before Christmas.
Mr Binns, who gave up his job as a customer services manager at the Yorkshire Bank to look after Stephen full-time, said: "We are all devastated by Stephen's death. It is unbelievable. We just don't know what has happened. We both had the flu last week but he seemed to be getting over it."
Stephen, who suffered from cerebral palsy, was due to turn 14 next month. A student at Newfield School in Blackburn, he also attended the New Horizons special group in Burnley every Saturday.
Following his mum's death, his grandparents Marrian and Frank Robbins, from Accrington, rallied around to help bring Stephen up.
Fighting back the tears, Mr Binns said: "I don't know what I would have done without their help. They've been helping us from the start. They've been absolutely wonderful with Stephen." He continued: "Stephen brought a lot into people's lives and he was special in lots of ways. He was gentle and had an impish sense of humour. He had an infectious laugh and, despite all his problems, I didn't know a happier child. Stephen didn't have full control of his movements and he couldn't walk or talk and had very little vision."
Stephen's brother Graham, 22, has just finished a Masters' Degree in computer science at Lancaster University. Deputy headteacher at Newfield School, Alexandra Walker, said: "It goes without saying that all the children in Stephen's class are upset. He was a lovely child and very peaceful. He loved music and physical activities such as the wheelchair dance. He also enjoyed food technology classes as he liked tasting things."
His funeral service will take place at St James' Church, Accrington, followed by cremation at Accrington at a date yet to be fixed. Family flowers are welcome and donations can be made to the New Horizons group c/o Mr Binns on 383080.