Former colleagues of murdered Timothy Smith have paid tribute to their ‘lovely and gentle’friend.
The 40-year-old freelance journalist died in hospital shortly after being stabbed at a bus stop in Nottingham city centre on 1 May.
Brian Martin, a former colleague of Tim’s on the Rutland Times between 1999 and 2002, said: ‘He was a council and court reporter who dealt exclusively in hard news.
‘He left the Rutland Times in 2002 and that’s when I lost touch with him.
‘I spoke to his brother, Chris, after I heard about Tim’s death. He said that his brother’s happiest days were spent on the Rutland Times.
‘Apparently, he kept all his leaving cards from staff at the paper and cuttings from his favourite stories in a box in his flat. It is such a terrible shame he is no longer with us.”
Tim lived in Oakham and Langham in Leicestershire during his time with the Rutland Times.
He also worked for newspapers in Corby, Kettering and Northampton, before becoming a freelance journalist.
He was thought to have been living in the Nottingham area of St Ann’s for less than two years before his death.
At one stage during his time in Oakham, Tim had planned to go into business with the current mayor of the town, Jim Harrison.
Harrison, who works as a freelance photographer covering Rutland and Leicestershire, said: ‘I met Tim through my freelance work for the Rutland Times.
‘He was a lovely guy. A very gentle person with a keen sense of what was right and wrong.
‘He felt very strongly about people who did wrong. We talked about teaming up as freelance journalists – he was going to do the words and I would take the pictures.
‘Unfortunately, I had a heart attack which laid me low for a couple of years work-wise and it never happened.
‘We were both from the North East and we used to talk about our time there whenever we met up. When I heard he had been killed I was deeply shocked. I keep thinking what a waste for such a good man to die so young.”
Tim’s funeral was held in the West Cemetery Chapel in Darlington. He leaves his mother, June, and older brother, Chris. His father, Cyril, passed away some years ago.
A 16-year-old youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been charged with Timothy Smith’s murder.