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Tributes to hanging victim

PUBLISHED: 22:00 20 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:02 03 March 2010

HE will be missed like a brother.

That was the verdict today from a friend of a man who died last Friday.

At 3.30am on June 13, a member of the public found Raymond Freestone's body hanging from a tree in a park area off Alderman Road, Ipswich.

HE will be missed like a brother.

That was the verdict today from a friend of a man who died last Friday.

At 3.30am on June 13, a member of the public found Raymond Freestone's body hanging from a tree in a park area off Alderman Road, Ipswich.

Police are not treating the death of the 33-year-old as suspicious but people who knew him cannot understand why he would kill himself.

Mr Freestone lived at the Cavendish Lodge block of flats on Turret Lane, Ipswich.

John Harper is the manager of the housing estate and admits everyone is still shocked after the death. A councillor has been talking to residents and staff at Cavendish Lodge to help them come to terms with the incident.

Mr Harper said: "I'm totally confused by the whole issue but when the facts start coming in we might know more.

"Everyone is very upset and have not been able to understand why this has happened. We are helping each other through it and trying to support them as a family, but it is like we have lost a brother."

Mr Freestone was originally from the North East but had lived on the estate for the last two years. He had a four-year-old daughter though had never been married and his family did not live in Ipswich.

He was sports-mad and a fitness fanatic who would go jogging for three miles every day. He loved football and supported Newcastle United with ex-England striker Alan Shearer being his hero.

Earlier this year he completed a course at Suffolk College where he had trained to become a fitness instructor.

Mr Harper said: "There are 21 people living at Cavendish Lodge and Ray was friends with all of them because he was a nice bloke."

"We used to go to Portman Road and watch the Ipswich Town reserve team together. He was very friendly and outgoing and what you saw is what you got. He had no hidden agendas and just enjoyed life.

"You get certain people that you latch onto straight away and he was like that. To know Ray was to like him.

"He will be missed, there is no doubt about that."

The inquest into Mr Freestone's death was opened and adjourned, as further reports have to be completed.

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