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Tributes and flowers offered in memory 'gentle giant' who died in Long Bennington near Grantham

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A man has been charged with murder after a father died following an alleged fight in a village near Grantham last week.

Lincolnshire Police said 46-year-old Dean Gray was taken to hospital on Wednesday after an assault in Fairfield Yard in Long Bennington. He died in Pilgrim Hospital, Boston, on Friday.

Terrance Hardy, 35, of Main Road in Long Bennington, has been charged with his murder and will appear at Lincoln Crown Court on September 13.

Flowers left in memory of Dean Gray. Credit: R. S. Mortiss (50377004)
Flowers left in memory of Dean Gray. Credit: R. S. Mortiss (50377004)

His case was listed at Lincoln Crown Court on Monday afternoon to fix a date for a plea and trial preparation hearing but he did not appear in court after earlier being remanded into custody at Lincoln Magistrates Court.

A second man charged in connection with the incident appeared before Lincoln Crown Court.

Stuart Gray, 63, also of Main Road in Long Bennington, is charged with manslaughter and possession of an offensive weapon in connection with Mr Gray’s death. Gray was originally granted bail by magistrates but on Wednesday morning at Lincoln Crown Court he was remanded in custody, following an appeal by the prosecution.

Gray, who appeared in court via video link, was charged with manslaughter and possession of an offensive weapon

He spoke only to confirm his name during a preliminary hearing before Judge John Pini QC.

The two men will next appear together at Lincoln Crown Court for a plea and trial preparation hearing on September 13.

Terrance Hardy was remanded into custody.

Following the news of Dean’s death, many Journal readers paid tribute to a “gentle giant”.

Lyndsay Teft commented: “Raised a glass to you last night bud, with Richo and Tony - shared many memories that we will talk about always.

“You guys definitely lived your best life in your young days - we had some laughs.

“There’s lots of what ifs and why! Still doesn’t seem real.

“That walk, confidence and cheeky smile will be missed...fly high dude.

“My thoughts are with your family and especially your children.”

Lana Marshall said: “His children and his mother have lost the most kind and gentle giant.”

Viona Fearn, who had known Dean for many years, said the news was “heartbreaking” and gave her thoughts to Dean’s family and friends.

Tracy Bradley commented: “First boy to ever buy me flowers. We were only 11 at the time.

“Always made me laugh. Still can’t believe it, always seemed invincible to me. Rip mate.”

Steph King said: “Dean was an amazing person this should never have happened.”

Detective Inspector Andy McWatt appealed for information.

He said: “We are grateful to those who have come forward with information to support our investigation. We would also like to thank the local community for their assistance and cooperation.

“If you feel you might have relevant information, and have not yet spoken to us, we urge you to get in

“This is a serious and complex investigation and it is important that we have every detail available to help us investigate fully and effectively.”

Anyone with information should call Lincolnshire Police on 101, or email force.control@lincs.police.uk, quoting reference number 456 of 11 August.

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