Devastated family pay emotional tribute to ‘generous’ and ‘caring’ man who died after fall at Norwich’s Castle Mall

Luther Benjamin Hughes. Pic: Submitted. Luther Benjamin Hughes. Pic: Submitted.

Peter Walsh
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
3:24 PM

The heartbroken family of a man who died after falling from a balcony at a Norwich shopping centre have told of their “shock” at the death of a much loved son, brother and uncle whose personality “touched” the hearts of so many.

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Luther Benjamin Hughes, 39, died from multiple injuries following a fall from an upper balcony at the Castle Mall earlier this month.

Mr Hughes, who lived at Music House Lane in the city, has today been described as a “kind, thoughtful, caring, bubbly” man by his familywho knew him as Ben.

They said: “Ben touched many people’s hearts with his big personality, infectious laughter and unique ways, he will be sadly missed by his family and friends.”

Mr Hughes, who moved to Norwich in the 1990s after studying the History of Art at the University of Essex’s Colchester campus, has three nieces, two nephews, two brothers and three sisters, including Dominique, 27, who lives in Solihull where he was born and educated.

She said: “He was a real character. We’ve had phone calls this week from people that he had spoken to just two weeks ago just passing in the street - he made it his business to make friends and speak to people.

“We’ve heard lots of really nice feed back from people. One lady that was just walking down the street said he was a really nice guy.”

Miss Hughes said the family, including other sisters Rachael and Becky, brothers James and Luke, were still reeling from the news of the death which will leave “an enormous hole” in all their lives adding: “We’re in shock. We still don’t believe its quite happened.”

But Miss Hughes said they visited Norwich last week to leave flowers and tributes at the shopping centre and are keen for as many people as possible to attend the funeral which takes place later this month.

She said: “We want people to come up who remembered him. The more the merrier - that’s what Ben was like.”

The funeral for Mr Hughes, a West Brom fan who worked for a period in the late 1990s at Sontec Electronics, Concorde Road, off Vulcan Road South, Norwich, will be held in Solihull on Monday, March 24.

An inquest into Mr Hughes’ death was opened by Assistant Coroner David Osborne in Norwich last week and adjourned until April 9 when a review will be held.

Mr Hughes, who was known to Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, fell from a height to the ground floor of the shopping centre and was pronounced dead at the scene early on the evening of Thursday, March 6.

The death comes less than a year after Matthew Dunham, 25, died at Castle Mall after he jumped from the fifth floor of the shopping centre at about 7.20pm on May 9 last year.

The funeral of Mr Hughes will take place at Robin Hood Crematorium, Solihull (B90 3NL) at 3pm with a wake to be held afterwards at the Wharf Tavern pub, Stratford Road, Hockley Heath, (B94 6QT). Flowers to be provided by family but donations to the charity MIND welcome.

If you have feelings of anxiety and need help, contact the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90.

Would you like to pay tribute to a loved one? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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