Corby murder victim to be remembered at town’s new night shelter

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Corby’s new homeless shelter will have a room dedicated to the memory of murder victim Tom Gravestock.

The 35-year-old was tragically killed in Butterwick Walk, Corby, in August.

Nicola Pell and Ray Loakes of Corby Nightlight

Nicola Pell and Ray Loakes of Corby Nightlight

Nightlight volunteers, who were given the green light for their new Cannock Road shelter last week, knew Tom well as he had used their services on and off in the months before his death.

Nightlight CEO Nicola Pell says she has been devastated by his death, and has wondered if Tom might have been saved had a permanent shelter been open.

“We’ve done a lot of soul searching,” she said.

“I’ll never know if we might have saved him. Could we have known what was going to happen to him?

“If I’d have thought he was in danger I would have taken him home with me.”

Nicola saw Tom on Saturday, August 18. Police found him dead the following Wednesday after concerns were raised for his safety.

She said: “He was quite elusive and he’d vanish for weeks.

“We hadn’t seen him for months so I’m so glad I bumped into him on the Saturday in Everest Lane. He gave me a hug and we had some banter, as we always did. He was on great form.

“He was the most beautiful man.

“He had a smile that would light up a room.

“He spoke so fondly of his time in the shelter and he was a really decent bloke.

“He made some unwise decisions in life but he’s got four children who are never going to see their dad again.”

Outreach manager Ray Loakes said: “We’re going to dedicate a quiet room to him at the centre when it’s open.

“I think Tom would have been proud of what we’d achieved.

“We couldn’t believe it when we heard he’d died. You just can’t get your head around it that someone you knew so well could die in such a way.”

Nicola added: “I know this shelter is going to change other people’s lives but it doesn’t make the loss any easier to bear.”

- Sean Doherty, 24, of Lincoln Way, Corby, has been charged with the murder of Thomas Gravestock and will make his next court appearance later this month.

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