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Shock over tragic death of eminent judge

Issue: 09/10/2020

091020-rob

The dog show community is in shock following the death of much loved Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breeder, exhibitor and judge Robert Sansom (Byermoor).
Rob’s partner Ernie asked for a statement to be shared on Facebook and social media, and this was done by family friend Stuart Pearson.
It said, ‘Ernie has received numerous  beautiful floral tributes today,  he asks anyone who feels they would like to send flowers, rather than do so that they donated to Northumberland Mountain Rescue, who were instrumental in locating him, or Samaritans of Northumbria who are always available to talk in Robs memory.   
‘He is aware there are numerous rumours and stories circulating social media concerning the sudden death of Rob, sadly he did take  his own life. Currently there are no details for the funeral as yet, but they will be posted in due course.’
Concerns were raised over the safety of Mr Sansom when he went missing from his house last Thursday. He was last seen around 11am when it is believed he left his home in Choppington, Northumberland. It was thought he may have gone walking in the woods near his home.
His brother Gary posted on Facebook, ‘MISSING!!!!! IF ANYONE SEES MY BROTHER PLEASE CONTACT ME ASAP.’

Search party

A search party was arranged and Stuart Pearson told OUR DOGS, ‘The whole dog community has sent messages of support.
‘Well over 50 of us went out to look for him on Friday and Saturday.
‘Any comments are best left to his family. That is the only information I can give.
‘It was confirmed that he took his own life. It was felt that this was the best way to stop the rumours circulating on social media.
‘I just want to thank everyone from myself for all the help they gave.’
The police used a helicopter and dogs as they searched for Robert with the volunteers.
A statement from Northumbria Police confirmed that a body had been found.
It read, ‘Some sad news to report this afternoon.
‘Police searching for missing Choppington man Robert Sansom have today (Saturday) sadly found a body.
‘The 60-year-old was reported missing on Thursday after leaving his home address on Willow Bridge.
‘An investigation was launched to locate Robert with local partners and members of the public helping in the search for him. However, officers have today (Saturday) sadly found the body of a man in Choppington woods.
‘Formal identification is yet to take place but police believe the body is that of Robert Sansom. His family have been notified.’
Detective Chief Inspector Martin Brooks of Northumbria Police, said, ‘This is an extremely tragic outcome and our thoughts go out to Robert’s family and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time. 
‘I want to thank everyone who helped us in our search and who came forward with information to assist with the investigation.’
‘Police do not believe there to be any third party involvement and once formal identification has been completed a report will be prepared for the coroner.’

Tributes 

Numerous tributes poured in for Robert on social media with one person writing, ‘What an absolute tragedy... a very popular and lovely man, Robert Sansom, was found dead at the weekend. He played a huge part in the dog showing world and was an astute judge and breeder of Cavalier KC Spaniels. So sad, always seems to be the good people that leave us... too quickly.’
Another person wrote, ‘The world has lost a wonderful soul, I will forever remember your mischievous grin, gin in hand, the constant laughs, the tales you told on our car trips and just the feeling of happiness that was always around you, thank you.’
One of Rob’s closest friends, Joanne Graham, posted, ‘The news we were all dreading today life  changed forever....I lost my best friend....you have left a hole in my heart Rob like no other and I can’t contemplate my life without you in it my kind, funny, caring friend. RIP beautiful until we meet again.’
Rob’s funeral is to be held at 10am on 16th October at Blyth Crematorium, due to Covid-19 numbers are restricted to 30 people.  Family flowers only, donations to the charities mentioned. Those wanting to pay their respects can do so from outside. Visits to the Chapel of Rest at John Grenfell Funeral Directors, Bedlington are welcome, strictly by appointment only.


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