Father pays tribute to 'troubled' son

PUBLISHED: 18:01 02 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:34 06 May 2010

Gary Hill had been a key witness in the trial of Sam Sturnham

Gary Hill had been a key witness in the trial of Sam Sturnham

THE GRIEF-STRICKEN family of a man who hanged himself spoke this week of the anguish he had felt over the death of his friend Christian Noble following a pub brawl. Gary Hill, aged 38, of Regent Close, St Albans, a machine driver, was found by his brother

THE GRIEF-STRICKEN family of a man who hanged himself spoke this week of the anguish he had felt over the death of his friend Christian Noble following a pub brawl.

Gary Hill, aged 38, of Regent Close, St Albans, a machine driver, was found by his brother David at around 6am on August 26.

It is understood that Mr Hill, who was divorced from his wife Samantha, had come back from the pub with two friends who left at 4am.

Police called to the scene confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

Gary, a former pupil of Beaumont School in St Albans, was one of the chief prosecution witnesses in the case against Sam Sturnham, formerly of Harness Way, St Albans, early last year.

It followed a pub brawl outside Blackberry Jack's pub in Jersey Farm in May 2006 which led to the death of Mr Noble.

Sturnham, then aged 29, was found guilty of the manslaughter of Mr Noble whom he had punched so hard that night that he fell and hit his head hard on the ground.

Mr Noble refused to go to hospital and spent the night at Mr Hill's then home in Mendip Close, St Albans, before he died later that day in hospital.

A pathologist's report revealed he had suffered two skull fractures which caused pressure on the brain and led to brain stem death.

Gary's father Michael Hill, of Borehamwood, said: "He was very troubled by Christian's death. Apparently, he told girlfriends that he felt responsible and thought it should have been him. We know he also had money worries made worse by the fact that he had been laid off work during the six weeks leading up to his death.

"I think my son was very lonely and troubled despite being the life and soul of the party with loads of friends. I think he thought he had to be a man and keep all his worries to himself but I wish he had talked to me instead of bottling it all up.

"It's terrible to lose my beloved son in such a way, especially as he'd fought off cancer three times already in his life. He had testicular cancer when he was 19 which meant he couldn't have any children of his own. My only hope is that he is at peace now even though his family miss him so much."

Gary is survived by his stepmother Tina Hill, brother David, aged 37, and sister Leanne, aged 32 and his mother Joan Parkhouse, who lives in Essex.

Mourners are asked to meet at The Baton pub in The Ridgeway, Marshalswick, at 1.30pm tomorrow (Friday) and travel from there to West Herts Crematorium where a humanist service will be held at 2pm.

Mr Hill said he had chosen The Baton as a meeting point because it had been Gary's "spiritual home".

Mourners are asked to refrain from wearing dark clothing but to dress in Arsenal colours if at all possible. Gary's coffin will be in Arsenal colours.

Mr Hill, who runs discos on Thames riverboats, said: "Even though I am a lifelong Chelsea supporter I will be wearing an Arsenal shirt on the day in honour of my son.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Herts Advertiser

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists