BRAVE is an overused word these days.

But if you want an example of where this is a most fitting and wholly appropriate description, then you need look no further than Caitlin Marsh and Filomena Claps.

During his closing speech to the jury at Winchester Crown Court on Monday, David Jeremy QC said that his client Danilo Restivo, with his lies and evasions, offered a stark contrast to others who had sat in on part of the Heather Barnett murder trial, or indeed through the entire proceedings, principally Heather’s family and Elisa’s mother.

Indeed, on the very first day of the trial, the jurors sent a note to the judge inquiring about the identity of certain people sitting in the well of the court.

He confirmed to them what they appeared to have worked out already, that one of the observers was Mrs Claps, who had flown from her home in Italy.

Through Restivo’s sadistic cruelty, Mrs Claps was deprived, 18 years ago, of seeing her daughter growing up.

And Caitlin, eight and a half years ago, was similarly deprived of her mother when Restivo so terribly took her life.

Mr Jeremy was right.

The contrast between the cold, cruel and calculating Danilo Restivo and the bravery and dignity of Caitlin (and her aunt Denise and uncles Jeremy and Ben) and Filomena Claps and her son Gildo, who gave evidence, is as vast as it could be.

While the actions of Restivo show the very worst of humanity, those of his victims’ families illustrate the very best of it.

At the end, in this country at least, of this very sad story after the better part of a decade, it is a privilege to have dealt with and to know them.