Heartbroken family pay tribute to 'cheeky' and 'funny' Devizes dad-of-two

Father-of-two Wayne Shepphard died in hospital following an incident in Devizes

The family of a father-of-two who died after an alleged assault in Devizes have paid an emotional tribute to him.

Wayne Shepphard's parents described him as a kind man who was always smiling with a happy go lucky approach to life.

Mr Shepphard, 44, of Waiblingen Way in Devizes, died in hospital on July 8 after an incident in the New Park Street area during the evening of July 2.

Wiltshire Police have since launched a murder investigation.

Mr Shepphard - who was known as Burt by many - would "help everyone", according to his parents.

Paying tribute to their son, Sandy and Pete said he would be "forever in their hearts".

Sandy said: “Everyone used to call him Burt, we have no idea why but we went along with it and he became Burt to us as well. He was really well known and very well liked in Devizes.

"He was always out and about so everyone knew who he was and he’d help anyone. He was such a kind person.

“Since he died we’ve seen so many messages of support and people have been sharing their memories of Wayne, which has really helped us. I keep picking up my phone to message him, but then I remember he’s not there. He was our only child and we really miss him.

“As a little boy, he was cheeky and just so sweet – he had lovely blonde hair and blue eyes and he loved his tractors. From the age of six he’d sneak off down the farm and his dad would take him for tractor rides which he loved. He was like his dad, he never liked being shut indoors very much. He always wanted to be outside, and when he left school he started off working on the farm.”

Wayne Sheppard's family say he loved to spend time outdoors

Pete said: “Many years ago, we used to inspect the potato lines together on the farm and he loved that. He just enjoyed working together side by side. As he got older he learnt how to fix tractor engines. He worked as a welder, he built greenhouses and then he trained to be an engineer.

"He’d often come down the shed with me and I’d show him how to fix things and he’d tell me I was doing it all wrong. He liked to be the boss of the shed. He’d go back home and tell his mum jokingly ‘dad doesn’t know what he’s doing’.

“He always made us laugh. He used to ask us for a tenner, and he’d come round, sit in the armchair, give us a smile and say ‘actually Dad, can you make it £20’. He was cheeky and he was funny, always smiling. He’d help anyone in any way he could.”

Wayne’s daughter Jessie said the family have been left heartbroken.

She said: “My dad was a wonderful dad, he was very loved by his family and true friends.

"He leaves behind two heartbroken daughters and our lovely grandparents who dearly loved their only child. Rest peacefully dad, you're safe from this hard world now, enjoy the fields up in heaven. Love you."

His daughter Chloe added: “Dad, this world is harsh and you were taken from us far too soon - you didn’t deserve what happened to you.

"I promise I will make you proud for the rest of my days. I know you’ll be looking down on us every day. Shine bright up there, Dad, rest easy. Love you endless, Chloe."