THE FAMILY of a Warwick grandfather, whose death is being investigated by police, have paid tribute to a man with a “heart of gold”.
William Heathcote, known to family and friends as Bill, was rushed to Warwick Hospital after collapsing in Pickard Street, where he lived, just before 9pm on Tuesday November 18.
The 75 year-old father of three and grandfather of four was declared dead at hospital just over half an hour later and detectives are investigating reports of an argument in the street shortly before his collapse.
In a statement his family said: “He was a wonderful person with a heart of gold and would do anything for anybody.
“A very good mechanic, he was well known in the Leamington, Warwick and Coventry area. He used to run and own the family business Heathcote Automotive Ltd – he did that most of his life.
“He was born in Yardley, Birmingham, but emigrated to Canada when he was a teenager, which is where he met his wife June. They lived in Warwickshire for many years but sadly June passed away in 2005.
“Bill made a lot of friends in Warwickshire and was well known in the automotive trade.
“He had a good sense of humour and enjoyed a laugh and a joke. It is devastating to have lost him.”
Seven young people, all from the Warwick and Leamington area, were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter two days later on the Thursday morning.
A 23 year-old man, two 17 year-old boys, and two girls aged 16 and 18 were all questioned at Leamington Police Station before being released on police bail.
Police confirmed no further action would be taken against a 15 year-old girl and a 15 year-old boy who were also arrested.
The coroner has been informed of Mr Heathcote’s death.
Detectives are keen to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time of Mr Heathcote’s collapse and who may have any information.
Call Warwickshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 357 of November 18. Information can also be given anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers by online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling 0800 555 111.
Police are investigating after 75 year-old William Heathcote collapsed in Pickard Street and died shortly afterwards at Warwick Hospital. 48.014.001.leam.jm1