Tribute paid to man found dead in country park

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The Independent Online

The mother of a man who was found dead in a country park described her son as a "gentle giant who who wouldn't hurt a fly".

Gary Bennett, 46, from Little Oxhey Lane, Watford was discovered under the awning of a disused information kiosk in Aldenham Country Park in Elstree on Wednesday.

A post mortem examination showed he died from head injuries.

His mother Alice, 80, released a statement which said: "Everyone was very fond of Gary and he was well liked in the local area. He was very generous and always made sure I had everything I needed.

"He also had a good sense of humour and was always ready for a joke and a hug. He was a very homely person who liked to be with his family. He liked to watch TV and really enjoyed the older comedians such as Ronnie Barker.

"We are so shocked and sad about what has happened to Gary. He was a gentle giant who wouldn't hurt a fly."

Det Supt Mick Hanlon from the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit appealed for witnesses to come forward.

He said: "We know that Gary left his home in Little Oxhey Lane at around 5am and for reasons unknown at this stage, his body was found in Aldenham Country Park.

"We are keen to track Gary's last movements and are appealing to anyone who saw him after he left home, or saw anyone fitting his description or anything suspicious in the vicinity.

"We would also like to speak to anyone who knew Gary and has been in contact with him over the past week."

When he was found, Mr Bennett was wearing a yellow high visibility jacket with grey cargo bottoms and black boots.