Belfast Telegraph

UUP Assembly election candidate and war hero Doug Beattie inconsolable at his baby grandson's death

By Cate McCurry

The family of an Ulster Unionist Assembly election candidate have been plunged into mourning following the death of his 15-month-old grandson.

Doug Beattie has been left devastated by the sudden death of his youngest grandson who was found dead in his bed yesterday morning.

Baby Cameron Tindale was the youngest son of Mr Beattie's daughter, Leigh (28).

Mr Beattie, a councillor in Portadown, will be one of three UUP candidates on ballot papers in Upper Bann today.

The Northern Ireland soldier and war veteran has served in the Army for 34 years.

He has been awarded the Queen's Commendation for Bravery for his actions in Iraq, the Military Cross for his bravery in Afghanistan, and the Nato Meritorious Service Medal for his peacekeeping contributions in Bosnia.

He is now a reservist, but was recently told he must quit the military if he was to challenge for a seat in the Assembly.

The family have appealed for privacy as they grieve.

Earlier this year Mr Beattie revealed how Cameron's older brother Bradley (5) was diagnosed with microcephaly after he developed behavioural issues.

The condition has come to world attention following the outbreak of the Zika virus which has hit Central America.

In February, the former Army officer said: "I want people to be aware of the way it affects people.

"Bradley self-harms and at one point there was even the suggestion that my daughter was hurting him, which wasn't the case, of course.

"It was terribly upsetting for the whole family so when we finally got the diagnosis, it was actually a bit of a relief because we finally knew what we were dealing with and could start looking at ways of helping Bradley."

Mr Beattie continued: "He is a mischievous boy, unruly at times and finds it hard to concentrate or indeed pay attention.

"He's loving in his own way, but also stand-offish.

"He self-harms, biting and punching himself, as well as banging his head off the floor or walls when he gets frustrated. It's disturbing to watch and difficult to deal with."

Microcephaly can be caused by infections such as rubella, substance abuse during pregnancy or genetic abnormalities.

Mr Beattie continued: "They think there may be a genetic reason in Bradley's case and they're doing all sorts of tests to find out."

It is understood Mr Beattie will not be attending the Assembly election count in Banbridge tomorrow.

Belfast Telegraph


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