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Tributes paid to 'wonderful family man' from Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 19:05 13 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:50 14 August 2019

Gavin Backhouse with his four-year-old son Henry, six days before his death. Picture: HARRIET BACKHOUSE

Gavin Backhouse with his four-year-old son Henry, six days before his death. Picture: HARRIET BACKHOUSE

Archant

Tributes have been paid to a 'kind and funny' father-of-four from Suffolk who died suddenly at the age of 37.

Gavin Backhouse with his fiance Harriet. Picture: HARRIET BACKHOUSEGavin Backhouse with his fiance Harriet. Picture: HARRIET BACKHOUSE

Gavin Backhouse was found unresponsive on his sofa by his fiancée during the morning of October 20, 2018.

The emergency services were called to the property in Kirton and paramedics worked to revive Mr Backhouse for 40 minutes. However, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Tributes have been paid to the "real family man" who was father to four-year-old Henry and Jessica, seven-year-old James and a 12-year-old son.

His partner of five years, Harriet Backhouse described him as "a really fantastic guy".

Gavin Backhouse with his seven-year-old son James. Picture: HARRIET BACKHOUSEGavin Backhouse with his seven-year-old son James. Picture: HARRIET BACKHOUSE

"He was a real family man who loved his kids," she said.

"He even gave up his work so that I could carry on working and looked after the children while I was there.

"When I came home they would always be bathed and fed and they would be sat on the sofa reading a story.

"He was so kind and funny and he worked so hard. He was so intelligent he had a scholarship for school when he was younger.

Gavin Backhouse with his four-year-old daughter, Jessica. Picture: MARK PALMER PHOTOGRAPHYGavin Backhouse with his four-year-old daughter, Jessica. Picture: MARK PALMER PHOTOGRAPHY

"It is just so sad he is gone. When the moon is out I take the kids to the back door and we say hello to daddy because they think he has gone to the moon."

Mr Backhouse worked at Bidwells Property Consultants as a maintenance man, a job which he often applied at home, often making coffee tables and chairs out of old railway sleepers and pallets for his fiancée.

His boss Anita Toye said: "Gavin was a wonderful family man who loved his children very much.

"He had a loving, kind and gentle persona and had a great sense of humour."

Gavin Backhouse sadly died in October at the age of 37. Picture: HARRIET BACKHOUSEGavin Backhouse sadly died in October at the age of 37. Picture: HARRIET BACKHOUSE

At an inquest into the death of Mr Backhouse at Suffolk Coroner's Court in Ipswich, Senior Coroner Nigel Parsley concluded that his death was drug related.

Ms Backhouse added: "Gavin could be really annoying in the most wonderful ways, but everyone cared for him.

"It is just such a shame. One of his old colleagues said he was one of the most honest and trusted people he had ever worked with and that he was proud to call him a friend.

"We didn't really go out and socialise as we usually stayed in with the kids, but he had a good group of friends who always supported him.

"If I could speak to him today I would just say to him that I love him and I miss him and that the kids miss him so much as well."

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