Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Steven's Family Still Miss Him Every Day ... but Now They Finally Have Closure

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Steven's Family Still Miss Him Every Day ... but Now They Finally Have Closure

Article excerpt

Byline: LINDSEY MUSSETT

THE family of a tragic street warden has paid their final tributes to him following an inquest into his death.

Steven Cook, 29, was found dead four days after he went missing from his Middlesbrough home in July last year.

His family made impassioned pleas through the pages of the Gazette for Steven to come home but sadly, it was never to be. Steven's body was discovered at Prissick Base in Middlesbrough by three of his street warden colleagues.

An inquest revealed the underlying cause of his death to be bronchopneumonia, but it will never really be known what happened to him. The coroner recorded an open verdict.

Steven's dad John Cook said: "The inquest has finally brought some closure for us, though we'll never really know exactly what happened.

"We just have to try to move on as best we can now."

Remembering his popular son, John said Steven, a former pupil of St Edward's Primary School in Linthorpe and later Newlands School in Saltersgill, was always keen on the outdoors and adored his job as a street warden.

Steven joined the army cadets aged about 12. Around the same time, during a check-up, Steven's family received the difficult news that he also had diabetes.

John said: "He had to inject himself, but given his age he handled it very well.

"He reached the rank of Sergeant in the cadets and I think he would have joined the army if it hadn't been for his diabetes. But his real love was the street wardens. He loved his job."

The family, including mum Lynn Andrews and sisters Zoe, 27, and Natasha, 23, have had heartbreaking moments to contend with over the past seven months.

Natasha was due to be married shortly after her brother's death in a ceremony that had been planned for two years. John said she then faced the difficult decision of whether to go ahead with it.

He said: "It was very hard for her. She chose in the end to carry on, and we left a chair at the wedding for Steven. …

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