Page last updated at 17:27 GMT, Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Tributes to fatal attack victim


Michael Eccles was returning home from a shopping trip

The family of a man who died after being attacked in the street have paid tribute to him.

Michael Eccles, 43, was returning home from buying wine at shops in The Dimbles, Lichfield, when he was attacked on Sunday, police said.

A family statement said the factory worker was a "larger than life" character and lived for his family.

Police have been given more time to question a 20-year-old man and 15-year-old youth on suspicion of murder.

Magistrates granted police a further 28 hours to question the pair until 1430 GMT on Wednesday.

'Smashed bottle'

Mr Eccles, who had three children of his own along with two step-children, died in hospital on Monday after the attack which happened at about 2000 GMT on Sunday.

A post-mortem examination was expected to be held later.

Michael Eccles
Michael Eccles planned to marry his long-term partner this year

A statement from his family said of Mr Eccles, known as Ecky: "He was a loud and outgoing character, who was great fun. He was able to find a joke and something positive in everything.

"Yvonne and his children will miss him more than words can say.

"He was the best dad and grandad anyone could have wished for, and a great brother and loving son."

"It is an awful, awful tragedy that Ecky has been taken from us in this way.

"We find it really difficult to accept that he's gone. The people responsible can simply have no idea what they have done to his family."

A spokesman for Staffordshire Police said Mr Eccles was returning from the shops when he was attacked.

"From our inquiries so far, we believe that Mr Eccles had bought a bottle of wine at the shop and a bottle of wine was found smashed on the street close to where Mr Eccles was found injured."

The spokesman said police were conducting house-to-house inquiries, with about 25 officers working on the case.

Floral tributes and messages have been left outside Mr Eccles' home.

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Man, 43, dies following assault
26 Jan 09 |  Staffordshire

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