Tragic kite flyer was engaged
STUNT kite flyer Lee Charity who died in a freak accident at the weekend was due to marry his fiancée in a dream Caribbean wedding next year.Mr Charity, 28, from Combs near Stowmarket, suffered fatal injuries when he plunged 30 ft to the ground after being swept into the air by strong winds on a rugby pitch at Chilton playing fields.
STUNT kite flyer Lee Charity who died in a freak accident at the weekend was due to marry his fiancée in a dream Caribbean wedding next year.
Mr Charity, 28, from Combs near Stowmarket, suffered fatal injuries when he plunged 30 ft to the ground after being swept into the air by strong winds on a rugby pitch at Chilton playing fields.
Police believe Mr Charity was harnessed into the steerable kite and took off as winds gusted at up to 40mph on Sunday.
Mr Charity had been a keen power kiter for two years and enjoyed the sport from fields and beaches, shooting videos of the day to learn more about power kiting from the experience.
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Lee's fiancée, Shelley Betts, 23, said: "We had just bought a house, we were very close, my best friend and my fiancée.
"He was ever so protective and would do anything for me as his partner. He would go out of his way to make sure I was happy and would put me first all the time.
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"We were hoping to marry at the end of next year, we had planned a Caribbean wedding. I always felt very secure and very loved."
Tony Charity, a 51-year-old police constable in the West Mercia force, and his wife, 49-year-old residential care worker Janet, have now lost their only son.
He said: "Shelley and Lee planned to get married, and just bought a house, life was good. He was very much for living life, a very happy-go-lucky character.
"Lee never saw the danger. When we got the call I was about to go to work. My wife and I started off and were told he was critical with a serious head injury, but he died before we had even set off. We lost a son and gained another daughter.
"Lee had been flying power kites for several years and had all the proper kit. "He loved going out flying kites with friends. He had been out in various weather conditions, but obviously with a strong wind people don't realise how dangerous it can be.
"Lee had a harness to strap himself into the kite and also had a little cart so he could be pulled along by the wind. He knew that safety was important. I used to do parachuting and I know how dangerous such activities can be. You have to work within your own limits.
"I am not advocating that people don't fly kites like this. I just want to say that they should be aware of the dangers. Lee had never suffered serious injury before. He just had odd cuts and grazes from being dragged along the ground by his kite."
Lee's mother, Janet from Upton-Upon-Severn, Worcestershire, said: "He was at a very good stage in his life where everything was coming together. He and Shelley had found each other and everything was going for him.
"He had had time to experience the love they had together. He loved and respected Shelley. We have lost our only son, but I keep expecting him to pop up.
"He would help anyone and we are very proud of him. He had such a care free attitude and an inner strength to be his own person. He knew no fear and people said he was like a double of his dad. He used to say life was for living, he was chilled out.''
Mr Charity's sister, Nicola from Wattisham said her brother was fun, caring and very supportive.
The family now plan to raise money for the accident and emergency department at the West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds, where Lee was taken.
They praised the hospital staff and everyone who has rallied round the family after the accident.
Mr Charity was born in Scotland and moved around with his family as his father was posted to different military bases including Wattisham.
He spent his school days in Yorkshire, Germany and lastly at Stowmarket High School from 14 to 16-years-old. He was employed in a number of roles by local firms and was at the time of his death a depot manager for Colchester based "All in one Windows''.
Mr Charity's funeral is at the crematorium in Bury St Edmunds, from 12.45pm on Friday. Anyone who would like to support the work of the accident and emergency department at the West Suffolk Hospital in Lee's memory should send cheques, made payable to the West Suffolk Hospital, to L Fulcher funeral directors, Ipswich Street, Stowmarket, Suffolk.