Friends devastated after alleged murder of student Jason Brockbanks in Newcastle accommodation
The friends of a 24-year-old student who was allegedly murdered in Newcastle have spoken of their devastation following his death.
Jason Brockbanks, from Cumbria, was found dead at the Mansion Tyne student accommodation, near Newcastle city centre, on Tuesday 27 September.
Aaron Ray, 21, from Sunderland, has appeared in court charged with murder.
Tyler Burns, who went to school with Mr Brockbanks, has revealed how he seemed to have "found himself" after moving to Newcastle from his home town of Whitehaven.
The 23-year-old said: "I have just been in shock since it happened. He was like a little angel.
"It seemed like he was well on the way to doing what he wanted to do with his life. He seemed to have found himself in Newcastle."
Mr Brockbanks and Mr Burns became friends when they were both pupils at Whitehaven School and kept in touch via social media.
Mr Burns said his friend was incredibly intelligent and, although he had been quiet at school, he gradually came out of his shell as he got older.
"He was very very smart," he said, "I always expected him to do really well for himself.
"I never expected anything like this ever."
Shannon Lawson, from Flimby in Cumbria, met Mr Brockbanks through mutual friends and said he went on to support her through some tough times.
The 22-year-old said: "Any time I bumped into him or saw him somewhere he’d always have the time to stay and talk to ask how life’s been and everything."
Another friend, 22-year-old Brogan Nicholson added: "We met at a party about seven years ago. It all started from there. We used to have the craziest conversations but the most laughs."
"I can remember us singing at every party we were at together. I will always remember his laugh and his beautiful soul. I will miss him like crazy," she said.
"There’s been a few times in my life where I’ve been in a low way and Jason was one of those lads that helped people in their time of need. He’d often message me and tell me I’m not alone and could speak to him if I needed to. He will be a big miss to everybody."
Mansion Tyne is a block of student accommodation divided into individual flats with flatmates sharing a communal kitchen as well as some studio apartments. It houses those studying at both Newcastle and Northumbria universities.
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