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Family pay tribute to tragic attack victim Richard Collier

PUBLISHED: 10:13 01 July 2011

Richard with girlfriend Jess

Richard with girlfriend Jess

Archant

Son of Shepway councillor was beaten to death outside Margate nightclub

the devastated family of a young man who died after being attacked outside a nightclub have paid tribute to his “soft, loving nature”.

Richard Collier, 25, whose father John is a Shepway Conservative councillor, was assaulted outside Margate’s Kabuki bar following a night out with friends last weekend.

He died later in hospital from his injuries.

Speaking to KoS from the family home in Folkestone, Richard’s grieving parents, siblings and other close relatives told how they were struggling to come to terms with their tragic loss and were leaning on each other for support.

Mother Isobel revealed how her son – a keen sportsman and Chelsea FC supporter – had only moved out in December to live with his girlfriend Jess at their flat in Ramsgate.

“I was upset when he left because he was the youngest and I didn’t think I would see so much of him,” she said, fighting back tears.

“But he reassured me that I wouldn’t get rid of him so easily. He said he’d be home often, and he was. Not a week went by when he wasn’t in touch.

“He didn’t want to break ties with the family; we were all too important to him.

“He would bring me little presents from time to time, things he would spot that he thought I would like. He had a very soft, loving nature.”

Mr Collier, who was recently elected to both Shepway council and Folkestone Town Council, added: “Richard was of the opinion that life was too short to be other than optimistic, and sadly in his case it was.”

Richard’s parents said their son’s death had devastated the entire family, including his sister Jennifer, 40, brother Robert, 38, sister Victoria, 34, and his cousins in Australia.

Robert’s wife Ivana, Jennifer’s husband Dan, and Victoria’s boyfriend Jeremy are also all struggling to come to terms with their loss, as are Richard’s nephews Connor, 14, Evan, 12, Teyen, five, and Oliver, four, and niece Nyla, three.

Jennifer said: “Richard adored his nephews and niece, and he used to love having Connor and Evan stay at his flat.”

Victoria added: “We shared a love of animals and music. It’s heartbreaking he’ll never have the pug puppy I know he wanted, or go to Glastonbury as we’d planned.”

Richard’s parents were visiting Victoria and Jeremy in New York and had just arrived in Maryland for a beach holiday at the time of the attack. All four caught the first flight home after receiving a telephone call from Jennifer, but by then Richard had already died.

Robert said: “It’s getting harder and harder to cope with every day. In the beginniwng you feel like you’re in a bubble, but then reality hits and it’s devastating.

“Friends of Richard’s were arriving by their droves at the hospital, and they just sat there for hours and hours waiting for news. He had a lot of friends because of his happy-go-lucky, fun personality. He was a fantastic person and it was impossible to dislike him.”

Richard, attended Sandgate Primary and Harvey Grammar School.

Mr Collier said the family also had great sympathy for Richard’s girlfriend Jess, as they believed the couple had been destined for a long and happy future together.

He added: “It may be harder for her because they were going to be together for many years. She was a very big part of his life and they were never apart. They adored one another.”

n Charlie McBride, 19, from Sutton in Surrey, has been charged with manslaughter. He appeared before Thanet magistrates on Wednesday.

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