Devastated daughter pays tribute to her 'loyal' dad during inquest into his death

The daughter of Stewart Anderson has paid a moving tribute to her  "extremely hard working, honest and loyal" father as she addressed the inquest into his death.

Thursday, 4th October 2018, 2:51 pm
Updated Friday, 5th October 2018, 3:57 am
Stewart Anderson, pictured holding granddaughter Neve Allcroft, with daughters Kelly Beston, left and Kay Allcroft.

Kay Allcroft, who is attending the hearing alongside sister Kelly Beston, was tearful as she told the 11 jurors and room filled with her family and legal representatives how she wanted them to know a "true representation" of who her father was.

Married Kay, who lives in New Herrington and is mum to Neve, told how her father, who had got divorced from their mum when they were young, had played a huge part in their lives.

Loveshack in Durham City.

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She explained how he had followed other men in his family down the pit after leaving school and had worked for Gentoo for 20 years before deciding to start up his own business as a ceramic tiler, which was doing well.

He was house proud, independent and grafted hard to provide for them, with Kay discovering just days after his death that he had planned to sell his home and move to a bungalow close to her and with a garden, because he knew how much his granddaughter loved flowers.

He would tell Kay he was "just passing" on the way home from work when he called in to see them, but she knew he had often been travelling in the opposite direction and had made the trip especially to visit.

Mr Anderson also spoilt his grandchild with gifts, including a ride on car for her Christmas present, which the youngster had loved.

He had enjoyed going to the local workingmen's club for the banter and to meet up with his pals, talking about boxing and football.

Kay, who was invited to address the hearing by senior assistant coroner Crispin Oliver, said: "He was very popular and had lots of friends, he was extremely hard working, honest and loyal.

"He was a brilliant dad and an amazing granddad, he loved his family and friends.

"Without my dad being here to ask, I know what were the three most proud days of his life.

"The first two were when he gave me and my sister away on our wedding days. He looked like he would burst with pride.

"The third was when my little girl was born.

"Other than me and my husband, he was the first person to see my girl.

"He was totally and unconditionally in love, he was absolutely besotted with her."

Speaking of the time leading up to his death at the Walkergate complex in Durham in the early hours of Sunday, July 24, 2016, she said: "I was at Sunderland Airshow with my husband and little girl when Dad phoned and said he was going out to Durham with friends and wanted to take us for Sunday lunch the following day.

"This had become a regular occurrence since the birth of my little girl and demonstrates how caring and thoughtful he was.

"It breaks my heart how much I know he was looking forward to that day.

"My dad really was so kind and caring and this is the man that will be missed by his family."