CHRISTMAS DAY MURDER: Tributes to man stabbed to death as another man charged


TRIBUTES have been paid to a man who was stabbed to death on Christmas Day as a 34-year-old was charged with his murder.

The family of "much-loved son and dad" Simon Birch, 39, known “Birchie”, said his smile "would light up a room".

He died at an address in Sunderland Road, Newbottle, Tyne and Wear, following an attack with a blade at around 11.20pm on Saturday.

Adam Jenkins, 34, of Sunderland Road, has been charged with murder and is due to appear at Newcastle Crown Court on January 24.

Mr Birch's family have now paid tribute to him following his death saying Mr Birch’s parents, Ian and Jennifer Birch, said: "Simon was a much-loved son, father, brother and uncle. He had so many friends and was loved by so many who knew him.

"He lived life in the fast lane. He loved his cars and motorbikes, was full of energy and was the life and soul of any party. Whenever he was around, his smile would light up a room.

"He had a huge heart and was very generous. He’d give you his last penny if he could. He will be missed by everyone."

Simon’s daughters, 18-year-old Brogan and 13-year-old Georgie, added: "He was always there to support us and would give us the biggest hug, telling us how much he loved us.

"He had the biggest and kindest heart. He would always protect us, no matter what, and was always there if we ever needed anything.

"It’s hard to put into words how much he will be missed by all who knew him."

Detective Inspector Graeme Barr, of Northumbria Police, said: “Our thoughts remain with Simon’s family and we would ask that their privacy is respected at this awful time. “A man has now been charged with Simon’s murder and I would ask that people refrain from any speculation on social media or in the local community that could prejudice the live case.

“All parties are believed to be known to each other and there is no wider threat to the public.

“I would like to thank the community for their support and co-operation throughout this investigation, as well as all those who have assisted with our inquiries.”