The family of Brian Fox say they knew “something was wrong” from shortly after he died on New Year’s Day – but faced a two-day wait to have their worst fears confirmed.
His sister Isobel described how she had sent him a text message to wish him a Happy New Year – and grew concerned when he didn’t reply.
Brian Fox, 62, died in the early hours of January 1 after hitting his head on the road at the taxi rank in Nethergate.
He was punched by 20-year-old Wes Reid, who was acquitted of culpable homicide on the grounds of self-defence at the High Court in Edinburgh last week.
Isobel said: “I texted Brian to say Happy New Year – I thought he had been on the rigs. He’d actually come home the day before.
“I didn’t think he would be home until the week after. He would usually come in to my work to say, ‘that’s me home’ – he had come in before Christmas to say he was off so I thought he probably wasn’t due back.
“I texted him and usually his phone’s off but he would text you back – but he never did.
“I phoned him up and it just rang out. He would usually phone back within a few minutes, but he never did. That’s when I thought something was wrong.”
Police initially issued an incorrect description of Mr Fox on the day after his death, describing the man who died as having ginger hair – whereas Mr Fox’s hair is dark.
His brother David said: “We never found out until January 3. I got a call from my brother Jim from London who said he had been getting phone calls to say it was Brian.
“I went straight to the police HQ myself and actually met the major inquiry team coming down the stairs – and that’s when they said ‘yes – it’s Brian’. And that was that.”