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Tributes paid to "kind and hard-working" Jim Middleton

Jim Middleton

3:40pm 13th February 2018

The family of an Epsom man have paid tribute to their "kind and hardworking" big brother, after a body was found on Ashstead Common

Jim Middleton went missing in July 2017, after leaving his home on his blue mobility scooter. 

Despite extensive searches in the weeks and months following his disappearance, Jim wasn't found. 

Searches were then scaled back but resumed on 22 January due to seasonal changes, with vegetation being less dense at this time of year.

On Saturday, police found a body at around 1pm, and a blue mobility scooter nearby on Ashstead Common.  

Jim's brothers, Keith and David, say he was "always ready to help out in anyway he could."

In a tribute statement, they said: "On the afternoon of Sunday 11th February we received word from the police that our brother Jim Middleton, missing for some seven months, had been found at long last on Ashtead Common. 

"Sadly it was news, that although expected, we had been dreading and it was his mortal remains that had been found.

'He hated being stuck indoors'

"Jim, was always our "Big Brother" even though he was actually shorter than both of us!  He was a kind man, a confirmed bachelor, hardworking and very practical and capable with his hands and was always ready to help out in any way he could. 

"Sadly in his last years as his Parkinson's Disease and early onset Dementia started to affect him, he was not as capable as he had been, but on his good days, of which there were many, there was still a spark of the old Jim there and he could crack a joke and raise a smile.

"All bar a couple of years of his life, Jim lived on Epsom Common, never moving more than a mile from the house he was born in at Stamford Green. 

"For the last 50 years he'd lived on the Wells Estate and loved to get out and about on the commons of Epsom and Ashtead, which he knew very well indeed. 

"He hated being stuck indoors and as his health began to fail, his mobility scooter meant that he could still get out in the fresh air. 

"It seems fitting that he should have spent his last hours outdoors on the Commons that he loved.

Police are continuing to investigate the circumstances of this discovery but believe it to be the body to be that of missing man Jim Middleton.

Officers say the death is being treated as unexplained and further updates will be issued in due course. 

 

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