Time to take stock

Time to take stock

First published in Devizes Watch The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Photograph of the Author by

Devizes is more or less back to normal now after the terrible death of Matthew Baggott but of course for his close friends and family life will never be the same again.
For several days the town had a strange feel about it as if the whole community was stunned, not so much by the death but by the way it happened.
I was one of the first at the scene after witnessing the arrest of two men just yards from our Gazette office.
Like many Devizes people I assumed Matthew had died from one unfortunate stab wound and was shocked to hear of the severity of the attack when a man appeared in court on Saturday.
Devizes being Devizes most people knew somebody who knew Matthew well even if they did not know him themselves.
The father of one of my son's best friends was a a close friend of Matthew and talking to him brought home to me how choices we make in life are so important.
This man had known Matthew since they were young adults. He admitted he too had hung out in town and drunk too much but had eventually managed to get his life back on track.
He told me that Matthew had encouraged him and others to make sensible choices even though he had found it difficult to do so himself.
Matthew's friend now has a decent job and is close to his teenage son, who is a talented footballer. Matthew's own son James, 12, has left poignant tributes to his father at the makeshift shrine in St John's churchyard. He too is a good sportsman but unfortunately Matthew won't have the chance to cheer him on from the touchline.
Let's make sure there are no more of these senseless deaths.

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