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Churchgoer pays tribute to 'popular and loyal' friend

PUBLISHED: 16:29 21 May 2008 | UPDATED: 10:52 12 August 2010

PLUNGE DEATH: Stephen Wilson.

PLUNGE DEATH: Stephen Wilson.

A CHURCHMAN has spoken of his bewilderment after learning that his close friend - a Sunday school teacher - had plummeted to his death from a tower block.

A CHURCHMAN has spoken of his bewilderment after learning that his close friend - a Sunday school teacher - had plummeted to his death from a tower block.

Stephen Wilson, 51, from Orpington, was decapitated as he fell from the upper floors of Emberton Court in Brunswick Close, off Northampton Square, Islington.

He was one of two to die in suspected suicide jumps just a stones throw apart within hours of each other.

Now retired Michael Adkinson, 78, a church warden from Orpington has paid tribute to his fallen friend.

He said: "He was a man of the church, a well-known fellow and extremely popular.

"We were all stunned to hear of his death. He served at the altar and he was in charge of Sunday school. The children were devastated.

"He was a very amiable fellow with a wonderful sense of humour and a cheerful word for everybody. I saw him every Sunday morning and he had been round for dinner. We recently had a pub lunch and a bit of a walk. Everybody liked him and he was a thoroughly good type."

Mr Adkinson added: "I was really surprised to hear he had been suffering from depression, you would not have recognised it. I have no idea why he went to Islington. It would have been totally against his character to kill himself. Christians are not allowed to take their own life."

Mr Wilson worked for Christian charity the Children's Society.

A spokesman said: "He was a one-off - a man whose wit was matched by his gentleness and willingness to help. In his work, Stephen always put the needs of others before his own, always seeking a way forward.

"Stephen was a true and loyal friend to The Children's Society. We are proud to have known him as a colleague and a dear friend.

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