Family tributes to bombing victim

DEVASTATED relatives of one of the Ipswich victims of the London bombings today described him as their fun-loving and beloved son.Richard Ellery worked for Jessops camera shop in Ipswich and was travelling to the Kensington branch for a training day when the explosions happened.

DEVESTATED relatives of one of the Ipswich victims of the London bombings today described him as their fun-loving and beloved son.

Richard Ellery worked for Jessops camera shop in Ipswich and was travelling to the Kensington branch for a training day when the explosions happened.

The last his Southampton-based family heard from him was a text message exchanged with his mother shortly before his train arrived at Liverpool Street station at about 8.30am on July 7.

Last Friday , Inner North London coroner Dr Andrew Reid opened and adjourned an inquest into the death of Mr Ellery after his body was formally identified as one of the victims.

A statement released by the family through Hampshire police said: "Richard was a fun loving boy and full of enthusiasm for life. He will be sorely missed by all of his family and close friends.

"We would like to thank people for their help in the search for Richard, and for their well wishes at this very sad and difficult time."

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Richard's father Trevor, and his younger brother, Tim, 19, along with their vicar, Rev Mark Prevett, of St Winifred's Church, in Salisbury Road, Totton, where the 21-year-old was a reader, drove to the City in a desperate bid to find him.

His best friend and flatmate in Ipswich, Tom Stopanic, also searched for him and has been supporting the Ellery family.

Southampton-born and educated, Richard lived with his parents in Bramston Road, Shirley, up until three months ago when he moved to Ipswich to live with friends.

He had worked for Jessops in the Buttermarket for about five weeks.

David Gunn, manager of the shop, said the whole team was extremely upset by his death.

Richard Gray, 41, from Ipswich, is still missing feared dead following the terrorist atrocities.

Meanwhile, fears have been raised that Al Qaeda used Felixstowe port as a gateway into England just a fortnight before the London bombings.

The operators of the port have said they could not confirm media reports that an operative for the terrorist organisation entered the country through the port.

The man - who is said to have been on a terrorist 'watch list' - is thought to have left the country from Heathrow airport hours before the suicide blasts, which killed 56 people.

Paul Davey, spokesman for the Port of Felixstowe, said police had contacted the port operators but not with any specific information about the Al Qaeda allegations.

Mr Davey said: "The only way a person could come through the port would be as a passenger, and we don't have any passenger services at Felixstowe, as a stowaway illegally, in which case it is difficult to know how they've come in to the port, or as a crew member."

While Mr Davey said while it was highly unusual for passengers to enter the country through the port he said, on occasion, people did pay to travel on container ships.

He said: "There are very occasionally passengers on container ships but it's an expensive way to travel and it's few and far between. They are processed by Immigration as normal and allowed in or not allowed in."

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said the force would not comment on individual lines of inquiry relevant to the case.

She said: "Our enquiries are continuing."

The Evening Star has now started the Ipswich Victims' Support Fund to help victims' families. See Page 11 for news on how Ipswich town centre is backing the victims' fund.

Are you organising an event to support The Evening Star's Ipswich Victims' Support Fund? Call the Star newsroom on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk.

If you would like to send a donation to the appeal, make a cheque payable to Ipswich Partnership and send it to us at 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN

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