'One of the nicest blokes you could meet' - friends' tributes to murder victim
PUBLISHED: 16:51 10 June 2019 | UPDATED: 17:03 10 June 2019
The family and friends of David Hastings were left devastated by the murder of a man described as "one of the nicest blokes you could ever meet".
Following the death of Mr Hastings, he was described by his family as a 'beloved son, brother, dad and grandad'.
His parents and children said: "He was always smiling and joking and will be missed by so many friends.
"We are absolutely devastated you have been taken away from us so soon. Sonny, we will miss you always, we love you so much and our hearts are broken."
He had been sleeping rough for three or four months, according to his tight-knit group of friends from the city, and would often be found sleeping nestled in the undergrowth along Riverside Walk, in a spot he called 'Dave's Cave'.
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The evening before his death, Mr Hastings had been at the engagement of two of his friends, Kelly Almond and Mick Peck.
Ms Almond, 35, said Dave had helped welcome her into the group when she found herself on the streets in Norwich.
"He wasn't just homeless - he was a friend and a family man. He was someone who was loved. We are not just a group of friends, we are a little community.
"He was just happy being himself, just being free. He had just got into a new relationship as well which he was over the moon with. Chivalry was never dead when Dave was about. It is just heartbreaking. I'm so proud to have met him and I am going to miss him forever."
She added: "I know he is gone in body but he is always here in spirit."
While he was on the streets of Norwich, Mr Hastings was closest to best friend Taffy Wheeler, 46, who said: "He was as mad as a hatter but he was one of the nicest blokes you could ever meet."