‘Moment of madness’

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GRIEVING parents have described their son’s death as a ‘moment of madness’ – but want to reassure other young people that help is available if they need it.

Dad Robert Stringer, 49, and mum Belinda, 53, issued a message to teenagers after their 18-year-old son Hector took his own life at his home in Chivery near Tring on Wednesday morning (April 20).

Mr Stringer said: “He had the issues we all had. We talked about them and were very open, but what we did not do was catch the moment of madness that happened the other day. We will always regret that.

“We are shocked and the community is shocked and there are no answers to this. We don’t have any explanation.

“We do not believe it was anything other than he had a moment of madness.”

Hector, who worked as a waiter at Tring’s Italian restaurant Prezzo, had been planning the weekend ahead with his dad and he had been out in Tring on Tuesday.

Mr Stringer said: “Our job now is to help all of those fantastic people who knew Hector to go on. We dearly believe his spirit and force for good continues and that every single person he touched in Tring needs to go on and be brilliant and be happy.

“They must not get stuck in his moment. This must never happen again.

“There is nothing that is so bad and insurmountable ever that any child should have to deal with alone. They can always speak to someone.”

Mr Stringer, also dad to Lotte, 24, and JJ, 22, paid tribute to the popular, enthusiastic and charismatic musician, who hanged himself.

The teenager had grown up in Tring and went to school at Goldfield, Bishop Wood and Tring School.

Mr Stringer said: “He fitted in more in his 18 years than I have in my 49 years. He brought joy to our lives and everyone he met. He smiled and lit every room up.

“He was bright, happy, beautiful, brilliant and irresistible. Nobody could help but fall under his spell.

“He would run across the road and hug my mother in the evening when he was with his mates. He would stop and speak to people and just made those little efforts.

“He had charisma. He smiled, he was chirpy and he listened to people.

“He helped so many people of different ages because he spent time with them.”

The keen guitarist, who studied music at West Herts College in Watford, enjoyed playing music by Eric Clapton and Van Morrison as well as jazz.

He had a band at school called Katomite, which split up when the members went to university and college, and he then formed another band called Little Wolf with three college friends.

Mr Stringer said: “He met the most wonderful group of people.

“Hector was always happiest and felt most comfortable playing music and doing things with his band.

“They were amazing. They were gigging all over the county and did a gig at the O2 in Islington and made some publicity recordings.

“Hector was always interested in music. He always had an affinity with music and an understanding of music.

“He was the most sympathetic person. He was so sympathetic with his band mates and that was why he was such a good musician.

“He felt everyone’s joy and everyone’s pain.

“He was incredible. At school he did not go through the normal academic style of music.

“Belinda got a guitar and he picked up a guitar and he never put it down.

“Hector was deep thinking, he was musical, he played rugby and he lived life to the full and enjoyed life to the full and he made you laugh.”

Tributes to Hector have also flooded in on Little Wolf’s Facebook page.

The band’s singer Mario Lottari said: “Hector had a way of transmitting energy into anything he touched – any person, any room, any instrument.

“He was without a doubt the most enthusiastic person I have ever met. He really was, in the most beautiful sense of the word, wild.

“All of us from Little Wolf feel so blessed and so proud to have known such an amazing person. Hector’s memory is one that all of us will take with us everywhere we go.”