THE former headteacher of stab victim Andrew Lucas today paid tribute to a “likeable and popular” lad.
The 20-year-old was found dying by ambulance crews on a tree-lined path near his home in Washington’s Warkworth Close.
However, despite their best efforts to save the labourer, he died shortly after reaching the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead.
Mark Spalding, 45, of Washington, was arrested by police and has been charged with his murder.
Today, staff at Hebburn Comprehensive School, where he studied, are still in shock after hearing their former pupil had been stabbed to death.
Acting headteacher David Thompson said Andrew had been a well-liked boy during his time at the school.
“We are all greatly shocked and saddened to hear of Andrew’s death at the weekend,” he said.
“He was a likeable and popular student and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”
In an online tribute, Andrew’s partner Vanessa Gibson described the three years they spent together as the best of her life.
She said: “Andrew, can’t believe you have been took away after three year.
“That three year with you and your love was the best time of my life. Really can’t believe your gone don’t know how I’m going to get though it without you. RIP my gorgeous fiance Andrew. Love you loads.”
Elsewhere, Andrew’s pals have been flooding a Facebook page set-up in his memory with messages.
Pal Tasha Louise Proctor, said: “Andrew still cant believe you’re gone. Keep thinking about you. Had some amazing times together with everyone from school, some of the best times ever.”
His cousin Dean Bainbridge said: “You mean the world to a lot off friends and mainly family but I hope you enjoying yourself up there mate.” Shannon said: “Nothing has sunk in yet. I still don’t want to believe it.”
Andrew, who is originally from Hebburn, was pronounced dead in hospital after he was found with knife wounds early on Saturday morning.
Spalding, of Kestrel Close, Washington, was remanded in custody at Sunderland Magistrates Court on Monday.
He will appear at Newcastle Crown Court today.