Quiet village is rocked by death

Police incident at Willingham by Stow playing fields G111027-2e

Police incident at Willingham by Stow playing fields G111027-2e

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The neighbours of a man found dead in playing fields at Willingham-by-Stow have paid tribute to a ‘nice and simple man’.

The body of 57-year-old Colin Dawson, who lived on High Street in the village, was discovered at around 9.30am on Thursday morning.

Emergency services attended the scene after reports that a body had been found at the playing fields and children’s play park.

An inquest into Mr Dawson’s death was opened and adjourned at Lincolnshire Coroner’s Court on Monday afternoon.

Lincolnshire Police have said that they are not treating the death as suspicious.

Talbot Clark, of High Street, knew Mr Dawson as they both drank in The Half Moon, the local village pub.

“He was just a nice, simple old boy. I used to see him in the pub,” he said.

“Everyone knows everyone in a small village. He was a regular in the pub and always had a friendly smile on his face.”

“Most of the village is feeling quite guilty that we didn’t know that anything was wrong. He never gave any indication that he was in trouble. I wasn’t aware of it.”

“It is coming up to the anniversary of his wife’s death. It is just such a sad thing that has happened.”

Another High Street neighbour said Mr Dawson would regularly be out and about in the village and would always pass the time of day with people.

She continued: “His wife passed away about a year ago and I think the rest of his family live in Scunthorpe area. He was a very nice man and very dignified after his wife’s death.”

“He was well known and people would have recognised him even if they didn’t know him well enough to have a conversation with him.”

“It is fair to say that people were very surprised to hear about it. People in the village are very shocked. It’s such a dreadful thing to have happened.”

The area between Gainsborough Road and Marton Road was cordoned off while police and forensic teams searched the area on Thursday.

Local resident Louise Forman lives very close to where Mr Dawson’s body was found.

“We just feel a bit shaken because we’re in such a lovely little village and you just don’t expect anything like this on your doorstep,” she said.

Speaking on Thursday another local resident added: “I got back at 10.30am this morning and noticed that the police had closed off the playing field.”

“I asked what had happened and they said they’d found a body - it’s so sad, rather than a shock.”

Another neighbour added: “You don’t think something like this would happen on your doorstep, I mean at the end of your garden a person’s life has ended.”

“What makes it more shocking is that it’s an area that people enjoy so much and now such a horrid thing has happened.”