Tributes for ‘bubbly’ expat killed in hit-and-run incident
David Shepherd, 60, originally from Edgware, London, was walking along the Girne-Güzelyurt main road in a southerly direction between the 13th and 14th kilometres of the road near Karşıyaka last Saturday, April 3, at about 8pm when he was hit by a vehicle. He died at the scene.
Speaking to Cyprus Today, close friend Deniz Aziz, owner of Jessic Bar and Restaurant in Lapta, said that he was “devastated” by Mr Shepherd’s death.
“I have known David all my life,” he said. “We were a group of very close friends in London. We used to call him ‘Peter Pan’ because he was so young at heart and never aged, even though he was 30 years older than me.
“We used to spend so much time at his house in the UK. We had a very close group of friends.
“Dave was best mates with Matty (Matthew) Copping, who had unfortunately passed away in 2004. This caused heartbreak for Dave, and eventually he decided to come to North Cyprus . . . for a much better and peaceful life.
“Me and my wife, Katie Armstrong Aziz, loved him dearly. We were neighbours for the past nine years here too and he came to Jessic’s a lot and was loved by all. He was an ardent Chelsea fan.
“We are naturally shocked and devastated at what has happened. He was a very popular man, sensible, loving and liked a good old debate every once in a while on any particular subject.”
Mr Aziz said that Mr Shepherd’s body had been due to be repatriated to the UK on Thursday to be cremated.
He said his ashes will be mixed with the ashes of Mr Copping and scattered at The Old Man of Coniston, a fell in the Furness Fells, their “favourite spot” in the Lake District in Cumbria.
Another close friend of Mr Shepherd, Cyprus Today columnist Rev Walker, said: “We are all very upset. David was a popular figure and we would socialise at Jessic’s Bar in Lapta. He had a bubbly character and was a ‘happy-go-lucky’ sort of guy who never had a chip on his shoulder. He was full of life and was a great friend to us all.
“He was a quiet guy and absolutely loved football and was a Chelsea fan. He was a retired electrician, having moved to North Cyprus some nine years ago for a peaceful and happy life. It really is such a shame. We have been in shock.”
Police arrested a man in connection with the fatal collision. Anthony Edward, 73, was brought before Girne District Court on Sunday, when he was remanded in custody for three days to allow police time to complete their investigations. Mr Edward appeared before the same court on Wednesday for a bail hearing.
Police sergeant Gökhan Bicentürk, testifying before the court, said that Mr Edward had been “driving under the influence of alcohol” and “driving carelessly” in the direction of Güzelyurt when he struck Mr Shepherd.
Sgt Biçentürk confirmed that Mr Shepherd died at the scene of the accident and that the suspect “fled the scene and went to his home”. He was later found in his house and arrested.
The officer continued that Mr Edward had told the police that he had “drunk two glasses of whisky after returning home and that he had not been drinking before the accident”.
As part of the police investigation officers spoke to people who were at the house Mr Edward had visited before the accident, who said that he had not been drinking, the court heard.
Sgt Biçentürk requested bail stating that the suspect is “an Irish citizen who is legally residing in the TRNC and who has Parkinson’s disease”.
Judge Özge Uğraşın ordered the suspect to pay 50,000TL cash bail and that two TRNC citizens sign sureties totalling 500,000TL. In addition, the suspect’s driving licence was confiscated pending trial.
Meanwhile Public Works and Transport Minister Resmiye Canaltay announced on Monday that she had ordered an investigation into the lack of street lighting at the point the accident occurred.
“There have been fatal accidents here before,” she said. “We have prepared a project to illuminate the street. . . We will bring the rightful demand of the people of Karşıyaka village for street lights to life, and I will follow the developments closely.”