TWO years ago, ‘devoted father’ Justin Skrebowski popped into Abingdon’s Poundland to buy balloons on his beloved wife’s birthday.

Unwittingly walking to the scene of his death, it was a decision that changed his loved ones’ lives forever.

The 61-year-old Oxford resident was browsing when a schizophrenic drug addict walked in, picked up a 20-inch knife from the shelf and fatally stabbed him.

Today marks the second anniversary of the tragedy, but the agony of loss has not faded for widow Gulsen Alkan.

The mum-of-two, who lives in Cutteslowe with their five-year-old twins, said: “Of course the pain is still the same, but you learn how to deal with it. Time helps.

“If you need to cry then you just cry, but you learn to hold yourself back. I know what time of the day I can cry - not in front of the kids.”

The 41-year-old credits her children Enes and Rosy for giving her purpose to push through her grief.

She said: “They know what happened, not details, but what he was doing when it happened. They don’t get angry or ask questions, they don’t see a problem.

“They say ‘that’s okay mummy, we still need to celebrate your birthday’.”

The mum-of-two pushed aside her grief to take on responsibilities once filled by Mr Skrebowski, adopting his antique picture framing business as her own and learning to drive.

She said: “Since Justin has gone, I have learnt a lot. It’s something to be proud of. Sometimes I just think ‘I’m doing exactly what Justin should be doing right now’.”

The couple met in London’s Portobello Road, where Mr Skrebowski ran an antiques shop and his future wife was working part-time to fund her English studies.

Mr Skrebowski’s killer Trevor Joyce is serving life for manslaughter, but the fight for justice continues.

Mrs Alkan has highlighted alleged failures by police and health authorities to protect the public from Joyce.

She persuaded the Oxfordshire coroner to resume a full inquest into Mr Skrebowski’s death, which will investigate if opportunities were missed to prevent the attack.

The inquest is scheduled to take place over two weeks from February 26, having been postponed in November.

Adrian Skrebowski, one of Mr Skrebowski’s two brothers, said: “We’d like to see [authorities] held to account.

“Justin was generous to a fault and had a good sense of humour. He was popular and a little bit of a rebel at heart.

“He was a devoted father - he only got to enjoy the children for three years.

“Not many days go past when something doesn’t remind me of him.”