Friends' sadness over man's river death

FRIENDS of a man whose body was found in an Ipswich river but went unidentified for several days have today remembered him as a special pal.

Grant Sherlock

FRIENDS of a man whose body was found in an Ipswich river but went unidentified for several days have today remembered him as a special pal.

James Crimmins, a concrete finisher known as Jimmy, had been battling liver cancer but was still regularly seen about town and was regarded as a friendly character to the end.

Today the 62-year-old's friends told of their sadness that the man many knew as Shaky Jim was no longer about to share a pint with.

William Honeyman, a formworker of Deben Avenue, Martlesham, paid tribute to his former workmate.

He said: “He would have given you his last penny. He was a character.

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“And it didn't matter where he went he was always immaculately dressed.

“Three weeks prior to his death I saw him and I barely recognised him he went downhill so badly.”

One of Mr Crimmins' closest friends, a colleague called Jerry, described him as a “good, hard-working man”.

He said: “I spoke to him a couple of times a week. He was a nice person.”

Mr Crimmins' body was found in the River Gipping near West End Road just before 4pm on June 5. The discovery by a member of the public sparked a police missing person inquiry and led to a search for his identity which last several days.

No relatives or close friends could be traced and police trawled records and databases throughout the country to try to uncover the identity of the dead man.

It wasn't until they released details of distinctive tattoos that Mr Crimmins' friends realised something had happened to him.

John Douglas, owner of the Rose and Crown pub in Norwich Road, said: “He used to work for me and we came to be friends.

“He was the most down-to-earth honest bloke you could meet. He was as honest as the day is long.

“He had cancer in the liver for a long time. The last time I saw him he did say he was in a lot of pain.

“It's a sad end for a good man.”

James Graham, of Bucklesham Road, Ipswich, added: “He had a heart of gold.”

Mr Crimmins is believed to have originally been from Maldon, Essex, and had no close relatives still alive.

Suffolk police said there were no suspicious circumstances in the death and an inquest will be held. It is not known how Mr Crimmins came to be in the river.

Did you know Mr Crimmins and want to pay tribute to him? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk