Family and friends pay tribute to Gary Pender

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A man whose body was mysteriously found in the canal has been remembered as kind-hearted man who loved his family.

The inquest into the death of father-of-two Gary Pender was opened and adjourned on Friday at Milton Keynes Coroner’s Court.

It heard how Mr Pender’s bicycle was spotted on the towpath at Great Linford early on Saturday morning, before his body was found in the water.

A full inquest hearing will be held on July 17.

His former partner Louisa Pickford, who is also father of his two children, told the Citizen: “He was a lovely man and a great dad.

“It has been difficult for our son Kaine and daughter Kerri. But they have a box of treasures now, with memories

There are all photos of him, things like school reports and the pictures he kept of them. We will all miss him.”

Mr Pender, who lived in the city, was a former bricklayer.

When his own mother died wen he was 18 Mr Pender was fostered by his former teacher Emme Bannis.

She said: “Gary was such a kind, loving and generous man, just a happy-go-lucky chappie.

“He came into our house as a friend and a brother, and none of my children can believe what’s happened to him.”