Belfast Telegraph

Family's anguish at death of Armagh student James Steen

By Claire Williamson

The devastated parents of a student who died suddenly in England over the weekend have paid tribute to their "darling son".

James Steen was an undergraduate student at Newcastle University's School of Arts and Cultures.

The 23-year-old, from Poyntzpass in Co Armagh, was found dead at a house in Wood Street, Rugby, shortly after 6am on Saturday.

Police are treating his death as unexplained.

Mr Steen was the half brother of Rev Ivan Steen, the minister at Windsor Presbyterian Church in south Belfast.

Warwickshire Police are investigating the unexplained death of the Co Armagh man.

In a statement released through the police his parents described him as a "kind, caring, intelligent and very talented" young man.

They said: "We have lost our darling son. Words simply cannot convey the pain we are currently experiencing.

"James enriched our lives, and the lives of others, in so many ways."

In the moving tribute his parents acknowledged the young man's sense of humour which "touched everyone he met".

"He was a kind, caring, intelligent and very talented young man, with a generous spirit. He touched everyone he met with his positivity and his sense of humour.

"We are devastated by James' untimely death, but we are comforted by knowing how much he was loved and admired by his family, friends and university colleagues.

"We are immensely proud of our son and all he achieved, and the significant mark he made during his brief time on this Earth.

"As we come to terms with our loss, we would ask the media to respect our need for privacy at this difficult time."

A statement from the Presbyterian Church in Ireland said: "We wish to give the family the space and privacy it needs at this difficult time and assure them of our prayerful support."

Three men are currently on police bail after being arrested over the death.

Belfast Telegraph


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