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Tributes to tragic kite flyer

PUBLISHED: 07:47 21 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:54 03 March 2010

STUNT kite flyer Lee Charity who died in a freak accident at the weekend was due to marry his fiancée in a dream Caribbean wedding next year.

Mr Charity, 28, from Combs near Stowmarket, suffered fatal injuries on Sunday when he plunged 30 ft to the ground after being swept into the air by strong winds on a rugby pitch at Chilton playing fields.

STUNT kite flyer Lee Charity who died in a freak accident at the weekend was due to marry his fiancée in a dream Caribbean wedding next year.

Mr Charity, 28, from Combs near Stowmarket, suffered fatal injuries on Sunday when he plunged 30 ft to the ground after being swept into the air by strong winds on a rugby pitch at Chilton playing fields.

Mr Charity had been a keen power kiter for two years and enjoyed the sport, shooting videos of the day to learn more about power kiting from the experience.

Lee's fiancée, Shelley Betts, 23, said: "We had just bought a house, we were very close, my best friend and my fiancée.

"He was ever so protective and would do anything for me as his partner. He would go out of his way to make sure I was happy and would put me first all the time.

"We were hoping to marry at the end of next year, we had planned a Caribbean wedding. I always felt very secure and very loved."

Tony Charity, a 51-year-old police constable in the West Mercia force, and his wife, 49-year-old residential care worker Janet, have now lost their only son.

He said: "Shelley and Lee planned to get married, and just bought a house, life was good. He was very much for living life, a very happy-go-lucky character.

"Lee had been flying power kites for several years and had all the proper kit. "He loved going out flying kites with friends. He had been out in various weather conditions, but obviously with a strong wind people don't realise how dangerous it can be.

"Lee had a harness to strap himself into the kite and also had a little cart so he could be pulled along by the wind. He knew that safety was important.

"I am not advocating that people don't fly kites like this. I just want to say that they should be aware of the dangers."

Lee's mother, Janet from Upton-Upon-Severn, Worcestershire, said: "He and Shelley had found each other and everything was going for him.

"He loved and respected Shelley. We have lost our only son, but I keep expecting him to pop up.

"He would help anyone and we are very proud of him. He had such a care free attitude and an inner strength to be his own person. He knew no fear and people said he was like a double of his dad. He used to say life was for living, he was chilled out.''

The family now plan to raise money for the accident and emergency department at the West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds, where Lee was taken.

Mr Charity's funeral is at the crematorium in Bury St Edmunds, from 12.45pm on Friday.

His inquest was due to be formally opened today.

Anyone who would like to support the work of the accident and emergency department at the West Suffolk Hospital in Lee's memory should send cheques, made payable to the West Suffolk Hospital, to L Fulcher funeral directors, Ipswich Street, Stowmarket, Suffolk.

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