THE family of a Wirral man who was found dead in North Wales have paid tribute to him, describing his loving nature.
Stephen Masters from West Kirby went missing from his home on Saturday, February 2. His body was discovered three days later at the Great Orme in Llandudno.
The 49-year-old, a keen drummer who had performed with several local indie bands, had driven up to one of his favourite spots when it is believed he slipped and fell to his death.
Stephen was an enthusiastic photographer and had been capturing the views on camera when tragedy struck. His family say the camera and pictures were later found intact.
His mum Maureen said she had been heartbroken when she was told the news of her son’s accident.
She said: “I had phoned him on the Saturday morning and didn’t get any response. But that wasn’t unusual, he often wouldn’t answer but would then ring me back later.
"We went around to his flat later and his car wasn’t there so I left him a message asking where he was.
“By the next day, I was very concerned because no-one had heard from him and he hadn’t shown up to meet a friend the previous night, which wasn’t like him at all.
“I knew he wouldn’t just disappear without telling anyone. When the police told me he had been found I was just heartbroken, it was terrible.”
Stephen’s partner Shirley Kay, who was on a business trip in America at the time of his death, paid tribute to the music-lover’s caring personality and recalled the couple’s love of travelling to North Wales for walks together.
Shirley, 46, said: “Stephen was such a wonderful, loving man and had a really beautiful energy about him.
"People were drawn to him and no-one had a bad word to say about him.
“I know he wouldn’t have gone up there and gone off the beaten track – we think he was taking pictures and just slipped and fell. He’ll be so missed by everyone who knew him.”
Stephen was a former student at Wirral Grammar School for Boys and worked as a digital media development manager. He was looking forward to starting his own business.
North East Wales coroner John Gittins opened the inquest into Stephen’s death last Wednesday. A post-mortem examination revealed he died from multiple injuries.