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Last Updated: Monday, 2 April 2007, 12:31 GMT 13:31 UK
Family tribute after webcam death
Kevin Whitrick
Kevin Whitrick was described as having a 'bubbly temperament'

The brother of a man who broadcast his own apparent suicide live on the internet has described him as a bubbly person and a devoted family man.

Malcolm Whitrick said his brother Kevin, 42, had suffered from severe depression for several years, becoming worse after two events last year.

The father-of-two was found hanged at his home in Wellington last week.

Mr Whitrick paid tribute to his brother and said media reports about his brother's character had been wrong.

"Kev will always be remembered by us for the good things, of which there are many," he said in a statement.

"Of the times when he left others feeling happy with his bubbly temperament and not the unsubstantiated reports of being a heavy drinking, computer crazed person as media reports have portrayed and we all know to be untrue.

He was such a wonderful person, he was a joker, he was a happy guy
Malcolm Whitrick, Brother

"It is with all these memories that we accept that Kev has sadly departed and is in a place where he can finally get peace with himself and not have to deal with the terrible darkness within that ultimately cost him his life."

Mr Whitrick, Kevin and their father Ron had run a family electrical business, RMW, together for 25 years.

But after Ron's death last year Malcolm left the firm to start another company.

Mr Whitrick said after the loss of their father and a car accident in the same year, his brother's depression had "escalated".

"I'm of the opinion that following his car accident Kevin never made a full recovery and it was during this period that he encountered some of the darkest days of his life," he said.

Unhappy at work

He said Kevin had only worked for three weeks since his accident and had recently talked of being unhappy at work, something which made Mr Whitrick invite him to join his new company.

Kevin was found dead after taking part in a "friendly insult" chatroom. His death was broadcast live on the web and police were alerted by another online user who reported he had self harmed.

His brother said some of the people who knew Kevin from internet chatrooms had contacted the family.

"They basically reiterated what I've said to you today, that he was such a wonderful person, he was a joker, he was a happy guy and obviously they're as shocked as anyone else at the outcome," he said.

An inquest into Kevin Whitrick's death was opened and adjourned last week.

Police inquiries into the incident are continuing.


SEE ALSO
Inquest held after webcam death
30 Mar 07 |  Shropshire
Appeal over webcam death images
24 Mar 07 |  Shropshire
Police probe web cam chat death
23 Mar 07 |  Shropshire

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