Tributes paid to British couple found dead within hours of each other in Australia

Alice Robinson, who was 'heartbroken' by her partner's death, was later found dead

Eleanor Busby
Wednesday 26 December 2018 18:47
'This is nothing short of a tragic accident' Rugby captain sends thoughts to driver of car that hit Britain Jason Francis

Thousands of pounds have been raised to help the families of a British couple who died within hours of each other just days before Christmas.

Jason Francis, 29, was hit by a car near the home he shared with his girlfriend Alice Robinson in Perth, Australia.

Ms Robinson, who was said to have been "heartbroken", was found dead just hours after her partner’s death.

More than 31,000 Australian dollars (£17,250) has been raised for the families of the couple, who are believed to be from Shropshire, since a fundraising page was set up on Christmas Eve.

Mr Francis had been on a day out with some other friends from the Cottelsoe Rugby Club who organised a taxi home for him on Saturday evening.

He was on the carriageway in the suburb of Scarborough when he was hit by a white VW Jetta, reportedly driven by an 18-year-old man, Western Australia Police said.

The force confirmed it was also investigating the death of a woman and was preparing a report for the coroner.

Sam Diamond, president of Cottelsoe Rugby Club, which Mr Francis had joined at the beginning of the year after moving to the area, said he understood Ms Robinson had gone outside to investigate when she saw the flashing emergency lights.

He said: "She was told by first responders that it was Jason they were working on."

Mr Diamond said she had been left "heartbroken" by her partner's death, which was confirmed at Royal Perth Hospital.

He said: "We don't know what happened to her after this. I know the police have launched an inquiry into it. She has gone missing after notifying some of our friends of what's happened (to Mr Francis) and hasn't been found until the next morning."

Mr Diamond said the couple had made a big impression on the community in their short time there. "They were two of the finest people you could meet. They well and truly ingrained themselves in our club,” he added.

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Ms Robinson, who worked for a digital marketing company but was also a talented pencil sketch artist, was described as having "an infectious laugh" and being "very bubbly".

Mr Diamond added: "Jason was the sort of person that's always got the time of day for everyone. Loved talking, loved working out, loved staying fit and healthy.

"They were just genuine, down-to-earth, fantastic people."

The parents of both Mr Francis, who was in the process of becoming a firefighter in Australia, and Ms Robinson had expressed their appreciation for the funds raised.

Mr Diamond said: "(They) thanked us for the support and have shown their appreciation for what the club and the community here is trying to do for them and Jase and Alice."

The club hopes to hold a memorial service for the couple at a later date, he added.

Paul McMullen, the captain of Market Drayton Town football club in Shropshire - which Mr Francis had played for - also paid tribute to the 29-year-old.

He said: "You young man were such a fine piece of our puzzle at MDTFC during our success and it was a pleasure to be part of it playing alongside of you."

On Ms Robinson’s death, a police spokesman said: "Police will investigate this matter and prepare a report for the coroner, which will include the full circumstances leading to the woman's death."

The police have also appealed for witnesses to the collision in Scarborough's Stanley Street at around 8pm on Saturday.

With additional reporting by PA

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