Man arrested after death of Brian Hill in Gorwell area of Barnstaple
A MAN who has been described as a big friendly giant and the rock of his family died outside his daughter's house in Barnstaple on Saturday.
Brian Hill, 53, who lived in Gould Road in the Forches area of Barnstaple, collapsed on the pavement in Concorde Drive, in Gorwell, at around 1pm and died shortly after.
Neighbours reported hearing screams and then saw a group of people standing around a man who was lying on the ground.
A 45-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter later on Saturday afternoon in connection with Brian's death but was then bailed by police on Sunday until early May.
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One neighbour Heather Castle said she had been haunted by the screams she heard.
She said: "I was sitting on my bed when I heard the screams from the road behind. I looked out of the window and saw a group of people. An ambulance car then arrived and they were trying to resuscitate him for ages. It didn't look good.
"I just feel terrible. I wanted to help. The screams echoed around and I feel haunted by it."
Brian's family are still trying to come to terms with their sudden loss. They have said the fanatical Leeds United supporter lived for his seven children and nine grandchildren.
Brian's son David said over the past 18 months his dad had become a full time carer for one of his grandchildren who is disabled.
David said: "Dad just lived for his family, for his kids and grandkids. Dad was a fella who would make you laugh in ten seconds of seeing him, he would just draw you in.
"Everybody loved him."
Brian moved to Barnstaple with his family in 1996 from Middlesbrough.
Since then he had several jobs including being a doorman in Barnstaple, working at the Norbord factory in South Molton and, most recently, working for North Devon Council.
Seven years ago Brian bought an allotment at Fairview in Barnstaple and soon after bought some chickens which he kept there.
David added: "Dad loved his allotment. He was there everyday and he used to take his eggs from the chickens around to people.
"He cycled everywhere, I couldn't never keep up with him, that is how he delivered the eggs around the town and it is how he got to know a lot of people. He would just stop and chat."
Shaun, another of Brian's sons, said his parents had been married for 35 years and had renewed their vows seven years ago.
He added: "It was love at first sight for them when they met in Middlesbrough. They were each other's first loves."
David added: "It is bad because mum and dad have been waiting to move into their new house which North Devon Homes are building for them.
"Dad had been so excited about it and had been making plans. He also wanted to get more chickens and build two new coops. I guess I will continue that now."
Brian's daughter Kellyann said: "Dad always described himself as a big friendly giant, the kingpin and rock of the family.
"Dad always said 'be happy' because you don't know what is around the corner. He was the best of men.
"He was feeling really proud on the day he died. He had been teaching me to drive and he had just dropped the car up here for me."
One of Brian's cousins James Delve, who lives in the Gorwell area of Barnstaple, said: "He will be missed by all of us. He lived for his family.
"He will always be remembered for his eggs. People joked that he was the egg man."
Police investigations into his death are on going. It was unknown when a funeral will be held for Brian as the Journal went to press.