Page last updated at 11:13 GMT, Saturday, 22 August 2009 12:13 UK

Father killed on Canadian holiday

Stuart Firth
Mr Firth was on an annual fishing trip to Canada with a friend

A man from West Yorkshire has died in Canada after being attacked as he and a friend tried to break up a fight.

Stuart Firth, 42, from Garforth, Leeds, was on an annual fishing trip in Peterborough, Ontario, when he was attacked by four men last Sunday night.

The father-of-two suffered a fractured skull and died in hospital on Tuesday. His friend Tim Bowers, 38, also from Garforth, escaped serious injury.

Canadian police said a 39-year-old man had been charged over the assault.

Mr Firth's wife Anne, 36, said she was convinced her husband died as a result of trying to break up the fight.

'Fatal blow'

She said: "He was being a Good Samaritan, it was a lad being picked on and Stuart and Tim didn't think it was fair.

"They turned around and said to this lad 'Stay where you are, we'll calm this down.'

"There were two lads to start off with and two others joined. Four on two.

He loved his football and going out for a drink in the afternoon with the lads, and then at night he was a family man
Anne Firth, victim's wife

"Stuart got one punch in the side of the head which resulted in him falling down, seriously fracturing his skull and a brain injury, but police don't know who dealt the fatal blow."

She was contacted by Canadian authorities at her home on Monday evening and immediately flew out to Ontario along with her husband's parents. She made it to the hospital before her husband died.

The couple would have celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary on 13 September and have two children - 11-year-old Amelia and eight-year-old William.

Map showing location of Peterborough

Mrs Firth said: "Stuart was a lads' lad.

"He loved his football and going out for a drink in the afternoon with the lads, and then at night he was a family man."

She and her husband ran a sign installation business and she said the news of his death had not yet sunk in.

"I still think that he's on a fishing trip in Canada," she said.

"I feel as though I'm in an episode of ER. It's not going to hit me until later.

"He called me Anne Louise, Louise is my middle name, and his favourite thing was to shout 'Anne Louise' and my son was running around the house shouting that. Things like that hurt.

"I think it's when all the commotion has gone and when things are back to normal that you sit and reflect."

Mrs Firth said her husband's father was still in Canada and hoped to return with Mr Firth's body on Tuesday.



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