Tributes paid to young Pagham man as police question suspect

20-year-old Charlie Hancock
20-year-old Charlie Hancock

A HEARTBROKEN family has paid tribute to a 20-year-old Pagham man who was killed this week.

Charlie Hancock’s family has spoken of him as a ‘larger than life character who was liked and remembered by everyone who met him’.

“He was fearless, honourable, loving and devoted to his family as a son, brother, uncle and father. His legacy is that so many of the tears shed by us now stem from memories of the many times he made us laugh,” they said in a statement.

Sussex Police confirmed today (Wednesday, May 15) detectives had changed the focus of their investigation into the accident which cost Charlie his life.

They had originally arrested the driver, a 41-year-old local man, for grievous bodily harm, but his death a few hours after the collision turned their questioning into a murder inquiry.

The man, who has not been named, is being kept in custody by Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team – working with local officers.

His arrest was made after a report of a hit-and-run accident in North Bersted just after 10pm on Monday (May 13).

Charlie, of Nyetimber Lane, was taken to St Richard’s Hospital, in Chichester, where he died in the early hours the following morning.

Rowan Way and North Bersted Street have been closed since the incident. Flowers have been placed close to the police cordon in Rowan Way.

Detectives trying to trace Charlie’s final movements have appealed to the public for information.

Detective Inspector Wendy Burton, of the major crime team, said: “We are appealing to anyone who saw two men having an altercation while in a grey Chrysler Voyager vehicle in Rowan Way, Bognor, between 9.30pm and 10pm on Monday, to come forward.

“We would also like to hear from any friends of Charlie who may have seen him on Monday as we are trying to trace his movements.”

Anyone with any information should contact Sussex Police on 101 quoting Operation Southwick.

For the full story and tributes see the Bognor Regis Observer tomorrow (Thursday, May 16).