Popular doctor dies on holiday

AN MP has led tributes to a doctor who died on a luxury cruise just months after he was attacked on his own doorstep.Popular Dovercourt GP Richard Perry, 58, is suspected to have suffered a heart attack while on a working holiday in the Canary Isles.

AN MP has led tributes to a doctor who died on a luxury cruise just months after he was attacked on his own doorstep.

Popular Dovercourt GP Richard Perry, 58, is suspected to have suffered a heart attack while on a working holiday in the Canary Isles.

The father-of-two died less than halfway through the fortnight cruise he had taken with his wife, Elisabeth, in a cabin on the Black Prince liner.

He had agreed to act as ships' doctor on the 11,000 tonne vessel which was carrying 450 passengers and 200 staff.


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In November Dr Perry and his wife were attacked outside their Fronks' home Road after Dr Perry, a lay preacher at All Saints' Church, Dovercourt, answered his front door to a car thief who had rung the bell.

Former rotary club president Dr Perry who worked as a GP in Dovercourt for 32 years suffered a cracked jaw and was knocked unconscious while Elisabeth, 56, was punched in the face so hard she lost a tooth.

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The attacker tried but failed to steal the couple's Audi car before escaping.

The Perrys had been due to visit South Africa the day after the attack, but because of their injuries had to cancel their holiday.

The cruise was the first trip abroad the pair had taken since their ordeal. The liner was heading towards Tenerife when Dr Perry died.

The GP was well-known for his work with the Harwich and Dovercourt Rotary Club and was particularly involved in the relationship between its rotary counterparts in Bremerhaven in Germany and Reisen in Holland.

Harwich MP Ivan Henderson said he had been shocked to hear of the doctor's death.

"I was really stunned. At this time my thoughts are with his family. Dr Perry was very well known in the area, not only as a GP but also as someone who did a lot of work outside his profession for the good of the community," he said.

"He will be seriously missed. He was a genuinely nice person and did a lot for the town."

Harwich mayor Les Double said: "It must be a terrible blow to the family. I imagine the events last year must have been a great strain on him and his wife. My thoughts are with her and his family."

Canon Stephen Hardie, Harwich and District rural dean, said that Dr Perry had been a good friend to the churches in the area.

"He has taken services approximately twice a month in the three churches of Harwich, Dovercourt and Ramsey for the last 15 years or so.

"Everybody is absolutely shocked and staggered this should have happened.

"He will be remembered for a long time. He was a widely respected, universally known and well-liked man.

"I can't believe that his death is a direct consequence of the assault in November but if it was some sort of heart attack, as I understand it to be, and that was stress related, the incident can not have helped."

Dr Perry's sister-in-law Maggie Hammond, who has worked as a nurse at his surgery for 14 years, said: "He had been a doctor here for 32 years and was widely-respected and well-loved. This was the first time he had done anything like this and he had been looking forward to the break very much after the distressing events of last year."

A post mortem examination was due be held in Spain before Dr Perry's body is flown back to Britain for a second examination. Plans are being made for his funeral and memorial service.

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