Family of murdered man tell of heartache

THE devastated family of a father-of-three found murdered in his Scarborough flat have spoken of their heartbreak.

The body of 48-year-old Gary Francis Virr was discovered in a ground-floor flat in Eastborough, near the centre of the seaside town, two days before Christmas Day.

John David Stamford, of Wooler Street, Scarborough, has been charged with his murder and is due to appear at Leeds Crown Court today.

Last night, Mr Virr's 74-year-old father Edwin, who also lives in Scarborough, issued a short statement on behalf of the bereaved family.

He said: "We are struggling to come to terms with the way Gary was taken from us.

"Everyone who knew and cared for him is in deep shock.

"All we can do is stay strong for each other and hope that justice is served."

Mr Virr is survived by three grown-up children, a son and two daughters, by a former partner.

His mother died a number of years ago and he also has two sisters.

Police say they can only release limited information about Mr Virr but said he has been unemployed for many years and he had previously worked as a landscape gardener.

Detectives charged 51-year-old Stamford with murder on Boxing Day. He appeared at Scarborough Magistrates' Court on Monday.

The case was adjourned to Leeds Crown Court and Stamford was remanded in custody.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said the inquest into Mr Virr's death will be opened and adjourned this week.

The day after the murder, forensic investigators continued to conduct inquiries at Mr Virr's flat and in the surrounding area.

Neighbours described Mr Virr as a quiet man who kept to himself to himself.