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‘A popular member of the community’: Family tribute to father who died in Great Yarmouth altercation

PUBLISHED: 12:49 24 April 2020 | UPDATED: 18:40 24 April 2020

Kenneth Hawker, 68, has been described as a

Kenneth Hawker, 68, has been described as a "popular member of the local community". Photo: Norfolk Constabulary, supplied by Kenneth's family.

Archant

A man who died following a serious altercation in Great Yarmouth has been described as “a popular member of the local community”.

The scene at Middle Market Road in Great Yarmouth on Wednesday, April 22. Photo: Chris FloydThe scene at Middle Market Road in Great Yarmouth on Wednesday, April 22. Photo: Chris Floyd

Kenneth Hawker, 68, from Great Yarmouth, was pronounced dead at the scene following an incident between himself and another man in his 50s at 12.30pm on Wednesday, April 22.

In a statement, his family said: “Kenneth, or Ken as he was known, was a much-loved husband, father, son and brother.

“He had many friends, and was a popular member of the local community.

“His sudden and untimely death has come as a huge shock to us all.”

The East Anglian Air Ambulance attending an incident outside Iceland in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Brittany WoodmanThe East Anglian Air Ambulance attending an incident outside Iceland in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Brittany Woodman

On social media, many users lamented the tragedy of a man who “wouldn’t hurt a fly”, with one woman referring to Mr Hawker and his wife as “the kindest, most caring couple.”

The other man involved in the incident was arrested but has since been released under investigation as officers continue to investigate the circumstances leading up to Mr Hawker’s death.

A post-mortem examination showed that the cause of Mr Hawker’s death was an underlying heart condition.

According to an eyewitness at the scene, there was a “huge commotion” of emergency services with “at least 15 police vehicles” gathered on Middle Market Road.

A man who lives on the road explained that he “saw police arrive in numbers” after the fight, before witnessing one offer giving CPR to a man for up to 30 minutes.

The East Anglian Air Ambulance attending an incident outside Iceland in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Brittany WoodmanThe East Anglian Air Ambulance attending an incident outside Iceland in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Brittany Woodman

He said: “After about 40-45 minutes it became quite obvious what had happened.

“With the lockdown it’s the first thing that people have seen in weeks - they stood about for around an hour before everyone started to disappear.”

A further eyewitness said: “It started as a minor fight on the road but escalated so quickly.”

Det Insp Neil Stewart said: “We are working through various lines of enquiry to establish what has happened in the lead up to this man’s death.

“We know from initial reports a number of people witnessed the incident and we would be keen to hear from anybody who hasn’t already spoken to the police.”

Anybody with information should contact the joint Norfolk and Suffolk major investigation team on 101 quoting ‘Operation Linbridge’.


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