A life-long best friend of the late Robert Merritt has paid tribute to him after he passed away and said his pal of 43 years "will never be replaced.”
Mr Merritt, 60, was found dead at his home in Lythemere, Orton Malborne, in the early hours of June 29.
Clifton Findley, a friend of Mr Merritt’s, paid tribute to him in a Facebook post – with permission given to the Peterborough Telegraph to share it.
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"Words cannot comprehend how I feel but more importantly Sarah Merritt [Rob’s daughter] and James Knight [Sarah’s partner] I am sorry for your loss,” Clifton’s tribute read. “The hurt you must be going through, one can only imagine.
"Rob was like a brother, friend [and] dad all in one, since I was 13. The jokes, laughter [and] pain we endured throughout life can never be replaced.”
Clifton and his family moved to Lythemere, from Birmingham, in 1977 and first met Robert when he moved to the area in 1979.
“We were the only black people in Orton,” Clifton told this newspaper. “We didn’t know anyone and he made us feel welcome.”
The pair formed a close bond with another friend, Amir Talab, who also lived in Orton Malborne, with Clifton revealing “a part of us is gone” after losing Robert.
“They say a good friend knows all your best stories but a best friend has lived them with you – and I can say he truly has in 43 years.
“To this day I am numb thinking why, why and why Rob.”
Clifton added that he spoke to Robert the day before his death and was asked to help him pack ahead of moving to a new home in Cumbria.
Adam Merritt, 33, of Lythemere, Orton Malborne, has since appeared at Peterborough Crown Court, on 4 July, charged with murdering his father.
“He will never see his final destination now,” Clifton said. “A good man has gone, he will never be replaced.
"A part of me has also gone as we grew up together.
"Rest in peace Robert Merritt. Love you forever.”