Tributes paid to stab victim

The family of a man who was killed last week in an Essex seaside resort have today paid tribute to a "good, caring man".

The family of a man who was killed last week in an Essex seaside resort have today paid tribute to a “good, caring man”.

Police were called to a flat in Queens Road, Frinton, shortly before 9.30pm on Thursday, where they found the body of Michael Bernhardt.

The 61-year-old, who lived in the town, had suffered a stab wound and was certified dead at the scene.

Mr Bernhardt was born in Tottenham in north London. He married Shirley Coombs in 1967 and they had three children.


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However, the couple divorced after 25 years of marriage and Mr Bernhardt moved firstly to Clacton in 1991, and then onto Kirby Cross where he lived with his partner Frieda Matthews.

Ms Mattews died from cancer in 2002 and Mr Bernhardt then moved to Frinton to live alone.

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Before his retirement Mr Bernhardt was a long-distance lorry driver for many years. He enjoyed gardening and did some part-time work in the area. He also loved country music.

In a family statement, his three children, 40-year-old Diane, who lives in London, 38-year-old Carl, who lives in Colchester, and 35-year-old Kevin, who lives in Ipswich, paid tribute to their father.

They said: “He was a good, caring man who wanted nothing more than to lead a quiet and simple life, but unfortunately he lost his way due to alcohol.

“In loving memory of a son, father, grandfather and brother who has been taken away from us so suddenly, we will miss you very much.”

Mr Bernhardt leaves his mother Rose, four grandchildren - 14-year-old Jordan, 12-year-old Taylor, three-year-old Ellise and two-year-old Freya Evie - his brothers and sisters Rita, Brenda, Pauline, Martin, Ricky, Steve and Tina, and many nieces and nephews.

Following his death a 59-year-old woman was arrested and subsequently charged with one count of murder.

Anne Starmore, who lived alone at the flat on Queens Road, is currently remanded in court custody and is due to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday, June 16.

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