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Tributes to troubled former soldier from Horsham St Faith

PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 January 2011 | UPDATED: 12:49 26 January 2011

David Phillips. Pictured: David on active service with the 3rd Queens Regiment fighting terrorists in Central America c1982

David Phillips. Pictured: David on active service with the 3rd Queens Regiment fighting terrorists in Central America c1982

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A troubled former soldier from Horsham St Faith who spent 14 years serving his country has been killed after being knocked down over the weekend.

David Phillips, 54, of The Warren, died after being hit by a red Peugeot 106 on Manor Road, close to the junction with The Warren, at about 7.25pm on Saturday.

Ambulance crews, including the Norwich Critical Care Car, attended the incident but were unable to save Mr Phillips who died at the scene as a result of his injuries.

Mr Phillips had been due to appear at Norwich Magistrates Court yesterday to be sentenced after pleading guilty to harassment – a charge relating to making threats to kill his ex-partner – earlier this month.

But Mr Phillips’s brother Mark today paid an emotional tribute to a man who he said should be remembered as a hero who served his country in Northern Ireland with bravery and pride.

Mark, 50, who lives in Arundel, West Sussex, said: “It makes me sad that David will be remembered by many people locally as a loner, an eccentric and someone who sometimes engaged in bizarre behaviour.

“What they never saw was the torment and mental anguish that he suffered every day since he was invalided out of the army after serving bravely for 14 years fighting for his Queen and country.”

Mark said since leaving the army his brother had new battles to fight against mental illness, including manic depression, alcohol and gambling addictions, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder.

He said: “They never knew of his phobia of living alone that caused him so much mental pain and suffering.

“Few had little idea of the heroism he exhibited on numerous occasions in action while serving in the British army for 14 years, of the times he witnessed comrades killed and wounded.

“One time he had to put his mouth over the blood spurting from a comrade’s ruptured artery to equalise the pressure while the medics were summoned, thereby saving a life.”

Mark, a direct payment adviser for the Independent Living Association Charity, said his brother was not bad but was ill.

He said: “He was a wonderful person to be with, very knowledgable, very clever.”

Mark said his sister Lynn Sole, who lives in Horsham St Faith with her son close to where Mr Phillips lived, was driving past the paramedics and ambulance crews on Saturday as they attended to Mr Phillips.

He said: “She actually saw his body at the side of the road. That must’ve been terrible for her.”

As well as Mark and Lynn Mr Phillips also leaves another sister Diane Norton, two nephews, and two elderly parents Joan and Peter.

He was also father to a girl, now 22, living in Canterbury, and saw himelf as a father to his ex-partner’s young child.

Anyone with information about the incident on Saturday should contact PC Neal Manning at Wymondham Road Policing or PC Steve Crowley from the Serious Collision Investigation Team (SCIT) on 0845 456 4567.

Do you want to pay tribute to a lost loved one? Contact Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk.

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